A House vote on legislation expanding school choice was delayed Monday after its sponsor asked for it to be re-referred to the House Education committee.
The legislation, introduced by state Rep. Jim Dotson, would create education savings accounts (ESAs) to subsidize the cost of a K-12 student to attend nonpublic schools or a nonpublic online program. These ESAs would be funded by donations from private businesses and individuals, who would receive a tax credit in exchange for their donation. ESA recipients would receive $6,646, currently the state’s minimum educational foundation funding total, to use on educational expenditures. Donations would be sent to qualifying nonprofits approved by the Department of Finance and Administration, according to the legislation.
Dotson said today on the House floor:
I’m just sending it back to committee to make a good bill a little bit better. I’ve been visiting with the Governor’s Office and they had some tweaks they’d like to see added to the bill before we hear it on the House floor.
Dotson and a spokesman for Gov. Asa Hutchinson didn’t return calls for comment Monday afternoon, but we’ll update this story if they do.
The legislation is on the agenda for the House Education Committee tomorrow.