August 03, 2011

School Vouchers Gather Strength in State Legislatures

State-level Republican electoral gains are fueling a resurgent push for vouchers and tax breaks to help parents send their kids to private schools, according to the Associated Press.

At least 30 states considered bills to use funds for private-school vouchers this year, compared with nine in 2010, and 28 states mulled tax credits for tuition at private institutions. Most of the bills were limited to special-needs children or those from low-income families.

Six such measures have been adopted–including the creation of the country's biggest voucher program, in Indiana, and the expansion of its oldest, in Milwaukee–with some still under consideration.

“There's long been an interest among Republican legislators, but this year is the first time they've gained so many seats in so many states and gained majorities,” said Josh Cunningham of the National Conference of State Legislatures. “There was a window of opportunity to get these bills passed.”