If Arkansas Sen. Jane English, a Republican from North Little Rock, has her way, low-income students in Arkansas may get scholarships to go to private school. The Log Cabin Democrat reported on March 20, 2012 that the Senator has sponsored a bill that will give a 100 percent tax credit for private donations to a scholarship fund. The fund will be used to give scholarships to low-income residents who want to send their kids to private school.
Arguments for SB740 were heard by the State Revenue and Taxation Committee and it is still in committee. The scholarships will be awarded to families making no more than 250 percent of the national poverty level. Sen. English plans to cap the credit amount at $10 million. Some state officials feel that Gov. Beebe’s balanced budget plan does not have sufficient funds in it for this program.
This raises an interesting question—should the government sponsor private schools? Many private schools already have scholarships in place for low income families. Schools in the Little Rock area have sued the state over charter schools stealing students from them. Won’t this scholarship do the same thing or is this a clear statement about how Senator English feels about the North Little Rock school system?
Lynda Altman is very concerned about the state of the public schools in Arkansas and the United States. She writes a blog called Homeschooling When Mom has Cancer. Get notices when this page is updated by clicking on the subscribe link, by email, or contact Lynda @fusgeyer on Twitter.