Governor’s proposal to delay tax credits shot down by Legislature

Published 11:00 pm Monday, May 20, 2013

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s executive amendment to delay private school tax credits is a no-go.

The House voted against the governor’s proposal 57-10 on Monday and the Senate did, as well, with a 19-15 vote.

Sen. Bryan Taylor who represents Pike County said he’s pleased that the tax credits will be available immediately to parents who want to move their children from failing public schools to private schools.

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“This means that children who are trapped in perpetually failing schools will finally have a way out next year,” Taylor said. “How can anyone be opposed to that?”

The tax credits are part of the Alabama Accountability Act that passed on Feb. 28. The governor signed the bill into law providing flexibility to schools and parents. Parents who enroll a child in a private school or non-failing public school instead of keeping them in a failing school will receive a tax credit of about $3,500.

Bentley later proposed a delay in the credits for two years to allow for failing schools to improve and the state to repay $423 million taken from a state savings account in order to prevent education budget cuts.

Taylor said the state is already on schedule to repay that amount.

Bentley said on Monday that the decision to reject the amendment was a mistake and that starting tax credits this year is fiscally irresponsible.

Currently, there are no failing schools in Pike County.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.