Children attending accredited, nonpublic schools or receiving competent private instruction would receive grants under a new bill in the The bill proposes the development of education savings grants that would give state funds to children at those institutions to help cover the costs of their education.
While proponents stress the need for school choice, opponents question the use of state dollars - as much as
"Parents deserve the right to be able to make the choice of where they send their kids based on whatever they think the education program is that's best to suit the needs of their children and family," Henderson said. "It shouldn't make any difference where they live. It shouldn't make any difference how much they make."
"There's no doubt it's going to be a substantial cost," Wilger said, adding that she believes the cost will be worth it to provide parents a school choice.
But that substantial cost is worrisome to the
"We feel very strongly that this would not be an appropriate expenditure of state resources," said
Peterson said it's important at this time to invest adequately in quality public education by increasing the per-pupil funding for public school students.
The bill passed in a subcommittee Wednesday and will be brought up by the full
"I'm looking forward to starting the conversation on how we can make it easier for parents in
"I really don't think we need to pursue the bill the House is looking at," Jochum said. "The state is helping quite a bit with private-school students."
The assistance includes the
Proponents of the bill understand it likely will not pass this year.
"This year we hope to kick-start a lot of discussions about the idea," Wilger said.
Holy Family Catholic Schools Chief Administrator
"We see families who are barely eligible for STO or barely ineligible for STO, and they're coming to me saying:'We can't do this. We're trying to be financially responsible and we've looked at the numbers. We just can't afford tuition,'" Trueg said.
Holy Family's tuition rate for students from supporting parishes this year is
"(The education savings grants) would be huge for us to retain our current families and continue to retain them," Trueg said.
Under the proposed legislation, education savings grants could be used for tuition, textbooks, educational therapies such as tutoring, virtual education and services for those with disabilities. Funds not used would roll over from year to year and could be used to help pay for college tuition.
"It shows that there is support for it. This isn't us going crazy on something that has no chance. We're saying there is support for this," Henderson said.
Children attending accredited, nonpublic schools or receiving competent private instruction would receive grants under a new bill in the
The bill proposes the development of education savings grants that would give state funds to children at those institutions to help cover the costs of their education.