Some say that we’re not reaching across the aisle, we’re reaching across the universe! Bryant and Ford cosponsoring a bill is just that, reaching across the universe. We’ve joined hands today to publicly cry for better options for our kids. As you can see in the picture (courtesy of fitsnews.com), this event drew the attention of the whole lobby.
This may be a once in a lifetime occurrence in the General Assembly so ya’ll may want to pay attention. I am cosponsoring a bill with my good friend, Sen. Robert Ford (D-Charleston). Many times I have butted heads with Sen. Ford. The definition of marriage, pork barrel spending, gambling, & capital punishment to name a few. Our voting records would probably show the most differences than any other two members of the Legislature. Yet, today, we’ve found an issue that we both feel passionate about; school choice.
This week, Sen. Ford introduced a bill (S. 520) that would allow parents more options in education. This bill gives a fraction of the total expenditures to a tax credit to families that are trapped in a failing school. On average, we spend over $ 11,000 per student per year on education. This bill gives a tax credit to parents that want to try a different approach for their child. Choice and competition gives students more options as well as it gives school districts incentives to improve.
Also, this bill is revenue positive for the public school system. As families opt out, 2/3 of the funding stays in the public system for empty chairs! This bill increases per pupil funding for public education.