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National News

GOP expands public funds for private schools

New York Teacher

Republican state lawmakers around the country have voted in recent months to create or expand programs that provide taxpayer funds to families to subsidize their children’s private school education.

Arkansas, Florida, Iowa and Utah legislators passed bills this year to set up or lay the groundwork for universally accessible education savings accounts, which parents can use for a wide variety of private education-related expenses, including tuition, classroom supplies, transportation to private education providers and homeschooling expenses. In May, South Carolina became the 12th state to offer such savings accounts.

Arizona’s education savings account program enrollment climbed from 10,000 students last year to 54,000 after the state opened eligibility to all students.

Kansas lawmakers just approved an expansion of the state’s existing tax-credit scholarship program.

More than a dozen other states have long-standing voucher programs.

The growing costs of these programs are well documented. In 2019 alone, seven states spent $2.3 billion on vouchers, education savings accounts and other forms of funding private school education, according to an analysis by two researchers from Columbia University Teachers College.

Education Week, May 8
Related Topics: Labor issues