Educational opportunity continues to expand:
now a school choice state Kansas
The Foundry – Brittany Corona – 5/3/2014
Last week, Governor Sam Brownback (R) signed into law
first school choice scholarship program—making it the 24th state to adopt
private school choice. Kansas
Corporations that contribute to scholarship-granting organizations (which provide vouchers to low-income children and children with special needs to attend a private school of choice) can receive up to a 70 percent credit for their total tax liability. The credits are capped at $10 million, and eligible students can receive scholarships of up to $8,000 to attend a private school of choice. In order to be eligible, students must be assigned to a public school deemed “failing” by the state board of education and be from families who have a gross-income less than or equal to 130 percent of the federal poverty level or $30,615 for a family of four.
A conservative estimate offered by the Friedman Foundation suggests that some 35,000
receive scholarships thanks to the new law. Kansas
“This is a win for
students. This is
a win for parents. … And it’s a win for property taxpayers,” said Brownback.
These are “some of the most significant reforms we’ve seen for several years in
the state.” Kansas
The new school choice program was part of a larger school-financing package that addresses the state Supreme Court order in Gannon v.
The court held that funding disparities between school districts violated the
state’s Constitution. The legislature bridged the gap by providing choice to
parents, raising the base aid per student to $4,492 (a 17 percent increase over
current level), and ending teacher tenure. Kansas
With this reform
is “putting the parent
back in the driver’s seat of their kid’s education,”says James
Franko, policy director of the Kansas Policy Institute. Kansas