The Alabama Republican Party (ALGOP) is celebrating the comprehensive school choice legislation that passed amended out of Senate Committee on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the Parental Rights in Children's Education (PRICE) Act passed through the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee after moving from another committee a few weeks ago.

The Act passed after an amendment was offered to cap expenditures at $50 million.

“The Alabama Republican Party is extremely supportive of school choice and all legislation that returns control of education back to parents,” Said ALGOP chairman John Wahl. “No child’s quality of education should be defined by the zip code where they live. School choice legislation like the PRICE Act will give Alabama students the opportunity to reach their full potential by allowing their parents the ability to choose an academic environment where their child can best thrive."

The bill allows parents to apply for their children's Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs). Several states are enacting universal ESA programs as they provide the most flexibility. Funds provided through vouchers and tax credit scholarships can only be used for tuition and fees, but ESA funds can be used for many education-related expenses. 

A 13-person advisory board would manage the ESA program through the Department of Revenue.

At Wednesday’s meeting, committee chairman Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) said the legislation still has a lot of work to do before going to the Senate floor for a vote, and the $50 million cap may need to go lower.

“I would like to thank the Senate Education Budget Committee for their leadership on this very important issue, as well as all the supporters who traveled to Montgomery and made phone calls to their legislators on behalf of this very important issue,” he stated.

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