Governor Kay Ivey reaffirms support for education savings accounts


This article was originally published on Alabama reflector.

governor. Kay Ivey On Monday, she affirmed her support for creating education savings accounts at a rally at the Alabama State Capitol on Monday.

But Ivey and other speakers offered few details about what they would support on the issue, which has already drawn opposition from Public Schools Superintendent Eric Mackey and other educators in the state.

“It’s going to be sustainable, it’s responsible, and it’s how we’re going to shape the future of education in Alabama,” Ivey told dozens of people at a rally for School Choice Week, a campaign to expand non-traditional public school and publicly funded private school options. .

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Education savings accounts are similar to vouchers in that they allow funds originally intended for public schools to be used for other items, including private school tuition. Vouchers send money to the educational institution the student attends. Education savings accounts go to parents, who can use them for any number of services, including tuition, tutoring, and counseling.

Ivey expanded education options A priority in last year’s legislative session. The Alabama Legislature passed legislation expanding the Alabama Accountability Act, a scholarship program that allows students in low-performing schools to qualify for private school scholarships.

The governor told the crowd that her “top priority is ensuring that the education savings account bill gets to the finish line.”

What comes out of the session will be up to the Legislature, and Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, and Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, will likely be the chairs of the legislative committees that oversee the Education Trust Fund budget, which would fund any type of budget. Educational savings account. Messages seeking comment were left with Orr and Jarrett Monday morning. Neither man could be seen at Monday’s rally.

Sen. Larry Staats, R-Tuscumbia, introduced Last year’s expanded education savings account bill, which would have allowed approximately $6,900 to pursue the student. The bill, which was introduced late in the session, did not become law.

representative. Ernie YarbroughR-Trinity, who introduced a House version of Stutts’ bill, said Monday he also supports an expanded education savings account option.

“It brings the free market back to education,” he said.

Stutts and Yarbrough tend to be two of the most conservative members of the Republican-majority Legislature.

Yarbrough outlined his plans for “true school choice”: universal for all students; Flexible spending ability; It protects the autonomy of private schools and home schools, while making traditional public school curricula transparent and not constituting an “attempt” to increase government spending.

“I believe that true school choice does not increase the size or scope of government,” he said.

The bill had not been introduced as of Monday morning.

Students and parents spoke about their own experiences with the state’s education options at the gathering as well.

June Henninger, a fifth-grader at Montgomery Christian Private School, said she benefited from her experience at school. She said she is grateful for her education and her teachers.

“I am ready for my next school of choice,” she said.

Montgomery Christian School students receive scholarships through donations and scholarships From the Alabama Accountability Act.

“School choice” can refer to a number of things, namely charter schools, vouchers, and/or education savings accounts.

At the January Board of Education meeting and work sessionState Superintendent Eric Mackey said he wants the money to go to schools and will require accountability.

Alabama reflector It is part of State Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. The Alabama Reflector maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Brian Lehman with questions: Follow Reflective Alabama on Facebook And Twitter.

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