Senate committee votes to expand Alabama Accountability Act

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – A Senate committee agreed to expand a program that helps some families pay for private school, but to focus those scholarships on low-income kids.

The education budget committee on Wednesday voted 10-4 to approve changes to the Alabama Accountability Act, which gives tax credits for donations to the scholarships. Children in failing public schools have priority for the scholarships.

The bill would: expand the definition of a failing school to those in the bottom 10 percent of test scores; increase the yearly donation cap from $25 million to $35 million; and tighten income requirements.

Sen. Del Marsh says the program provides choices to families who can’t afford options. Sen. Quinton Ross said the program was sold as helping children in failing schools, but many recipients never attended a failing school.

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