By US Daily Review Staff.
The Virginia Senate this past week passed legislation that would create a corporate scholarship tax credit program for children from low-income families, setting the stage for Virginia to join the ranks of states with publicly funded private school choice programs.
The American Federation for Children—the nation’s voice for school choice—has worked closely with allies in Virginia to pass legislation that would expand educational options for children in low-income families. Senate Bill 131 narrowly passed the state Senate after Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling cast a tie-breaking vote in favor of the legislation following a 20-20 vote on the floor.
The Senate version now heads to the House for consideration. Earlier this week, the Virginia House of Delegates passed similar legislation by a bipartisan vote of 65-35.
Governor Bob McDonnell is expected to sign a final version of the bill into law. Instrumental in the passage of both plans were Delegate Jimmie Massie and Senator Mark Obenshain, who led the efforts in their respective chambers to provide this important option for Virginia families.
“Virginia’s Educational Improvement Tax Credits will ensure that quality of education doesn’t depend on a student’s zip code,” Senator Obenshain said. “Most of our public schools do a great job of educating our children, but when a school isn’t right for a child, parents should have the opportunity to pursue other options.”
Last week, hundreds of parents, students, and advocates joined the Governor and state legislators at a rally at the state capitol to express their support for the creation of a scholarship tax credit program.
Virginia would be the fourteenth state in the country to enact a publicly funded school choice program. There are 27 private school choice programs across the nation, 10 of which are scholarship tax credit programs
SOURCE American Federation for Children