Breaking news: The Alabama legislature has passed the Accountability Act of 2013, formerly known as the Local Control School Flexibility Act. The media are chronicling the details, but it appears that after the Senate passed HB84 with an amendment designed to prevent a “dual-track” tenure teacher pool (some with tenure, some without), the bill went into a conference committee and came out, well…..changed.
Families with students in a failing school could receive state income tax credits to offset the cost of transferring to a private or non-failing public school. The credit would be equal to 80 percent of the average annual state cost of attendance for a public K-12 student.
Individuals and businesses could receive state income tax credits for donations to a nonprofit organization that awards scholarships for students at failing schools to attend private schools or non-failing public schools. Individuals could receive credits of 100 percent of their donations up to 50 percent of their tax liability, not to exceed $7,500 per taxpayer or married couple. Businesses could receive credits of 50 percent of their donations up to 50 percent of their tax liability. The total amount of the tax credits could not exceed $25 million a year.
Failing schools are defined under specific terms, including “those listed in the lowest ten percent of public K-12 schools on the state standardized assessment in reading and math.”
The income tax credits would be paid from sales tax collections made to the Education Trust Fund and set aside in a new Failing School Tax Credit Account.
Video from the Montgomery Advertiser of the Alabama Senate meltdown:
I will follow this as it continues to unfold. I am trying hard to get past the process through which this Act was developed and ultimately passed, and focus on the substance. Because that is what will become law for our children.