Va. school voucher bill killed
The Senate Finance Committee, after hearing emotional testimony from students and educators, voted Tuesday to kill a measure that would have given businesses tax credits to fund private school tuition for needy students.
Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), invoking President Barack Obama's support for innovative approaches to schools, accused Democrats of siding with "special interest groups and unions."
Supporters, including the Family Foundation and the Virginia Catholic Conference, argued that HB2314 would offer indigent students a way out of inner-city schools. The bill would give businesses a 70-percent tax credit for donations to nonprofits that provide private school scholarships. The scholarships would go to children whose family incomes qualify them for the federal reduced and free lunch program.
Pointing to the results of a similar program in Florida, Del. Jimmie Massie (R-Henrico) argued that the measure would actually save the commonwealth money. Massie said multiple studies there show that Florida saved $36 million a year while helping 33,000 students--75 percent of whom are minorities--to attend private schools.
Read more about what prompted the Virginia State Senate to kill a school voucher bill on the Virginia Politics blog.
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