The General Assembly finally achieved a real breakthrough on school choice with the passage of an education tax credit bill that, in past years, was routinely killed in the Senate Finance Committee. The bill only made it out of the Senate this year thanks to Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling’s tie-breaking vote on the floor.
Now, one of the Senate Republican backers of the measure wants the governor to water it down. From the Roanoke Times:
Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County, said he will ask McDonnell to amend the legislation (SB 131) to narrow eligibility for the scholarships to students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches in the state’s public schools. The final version of the bill passed by the General Assembly sets eligibility at 300 percent of the federal poverty level, or $69,150 for a family of four.
“That doesn’t work,” Stanley said in an interview Friday. “Those grants and scholarships can be used as gap scholarships for a kid that’s got 80 percent of his [tuition] paid because his family can pay 80 percent and needs 20 percent. That’s not what this bill was intended to do, so I’m going to ask the governor to make an amendment to that.”
This is ridiculous.
The final version of the bill has drawn the ire of Senate Democrats, which was to be expected. But the Republicans won the fight and now Stanley wants to surrender.
[Continue reading Norman Leahy’s post at Bearing Drift.]
Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.