Parental Freedom in the States and Nation
Representative Vic Kohring’s HJR6, a constitutional amendment that would explicitly allow vouchers in the state, has been successfully voted out of two committees, and now awaits action in the House Finance Committee.
HB 5241 has been introduced into the House Education Committee by Representative Paul Martin Tymniak. It would allow local or regional boards of education to implement school voucher programs for students to attend public or private schools of choice. Students would have to be transferring out of public schools, and vouchers would be worth no more than 50 percent of the average per-pupil expense at the school from which the student came.
HB 5893, a $300 tax credit bill for education expenses at public and private schools, has been introduced. Senate versions (SB 1132 and SB 636) have also been introduced. All await committee action.
Senator Colin R.J. Bonini has introduced SB 59, a $500 tax credit for each K-12 student in a nonpublic school. The bill awaits action in the Senate Finance Committee.
An income tax credit for taxpayers who pay private school tuition was introduced in the Senate Education Committee by Senate Joseph Tanaka. The bill awaits committee action.
House File 12 has been introduced in the House Ways and Means Committee and awaits action. It would double Iowa’s existing tuition tax credit, allowing parents to claim up to $500.
Representative Kay O’Connor resubmitted her “Parental Control of Education Act” this year as HB 2462. The bill awaits action in the House Education Committee. Also introduced this year were House and Senate versions of the “Kansas Educational Opportunities Certificate Pilot Program Act”__HB 2504 and SB 295. It would provide vouchers worth 80 percent of the base state aid per pupil for tuition costs at nonpublic schools. Both versions await action in their respective education committees.
A voucher proposal sponsored by Senator Tom Greene, SB 299, passed the Senate Education Committee after Greene revised it to offer the vouchers only to students in the worst-performing public schools. Vouchers would be worth about $3,000. The bill awaits action in the Senate.
Voucher legislation has been introduced and awaits action in the Senate Appropriations Committee (SB 31, SB 216).
Legislation that would authorize up to $2,500 in tuition tax credits was introduced in both House and Senate Ways and Means Committees (SB 74, SB 3, HB 29). Both Senate bills received hearings, and SB 3 passed the committee on March 3. HB 29 was heard in committee on February 9. Also, voucher legislation (HB 937) was introduced in the House Education Committee and awaits action there. It would create a pilot program for low-income families.
Legislation was introduced this session (AB 507, SB 385) to allow the creation of voucher programs in the state. AB 507 was heard in the Assembly Education Committee on April 8, but went no further. SB 385 was heard in the Senate Human Resources Committee on April 7 and awaits action.
Assembly Bill 1128 and Senate Bill 1537 have been introduced in their respective education committees. Each would create a five-year pilot voucher program. Both await action.
New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani delivered his latest proposal as part of this year’s city budget__a $14 million experimental voucher plan that would be administered by City Hall.
HB 147 has been introduced in the House Education Committee to expand the state’s voucher program to establish “child-centered scholarship programs in school districts under an academic watch or in a state of academic emergency.” The bill awaits action.
HB 2597-2, modeled after Arizona’s 1997 tax credit law, was approved by the House Education Committee on April 21 and forwarded to the House Revenue Committee. The Oregon proposal, sponsored by Representative Kevin Mannix, would allow tax credits of up to $250 for individual filing, $500 for joint filing, and $1,000 for corporate filing for donations made to tuition scholarship organizations or public school foundations.
Governor Tom Ridge signed a $19 billion state budget that included a $63 million provision for a statewide voucher proposal. The funding requires legislative approval before it can be applied to a voucher program.
Excerpted with permission from The Freedom Report (#71, May 21, 1999), Blum Center for Parental Freedom in Education, Marquette University, Brooks Hall 209, P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881; phone 414/288-7040; fax 414/288-3170; email firstname.lastname@example.org. David D. Urbanski, director. The full Freedom Report, done in cooperation with the Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation, is available from the Blum Center, or at http://www.mu.edu/blum.