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This legislation would add up to $60 million in new facilities funding for open-enrollment charter schools. This bill would create a Financial Hardship Transition Program to help ease financial hardships for school districts affected by expiration of the Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction program. Funds under this program would be distributed by grants which would be available to charter schools in addition to independent school districts.
This bill would also create a tax credit scholarship and educational expense assistance program to allow tax deductible donations to be made to qualifying nonprofit organizations to assist with education expenses for students with disabilities attending either public or nonpublic schools in this state.
So long as the state administers a public education system, that system should be effective, efficient, and capable of meeting the needs of a diverse student population. Open-enrollment charter schools are a vital part of our state's public school system and should be funded appropriately. This legislation seeks to achieve that goal. Also, authorizing a tax credit scholarship program allows people to contribute private funds to support education assistance scholarships for those in the greatest need of assistance at a school best suited to their educational needs. This supports limited government, individual liberty, and personal responsibility. We support SB 2.