MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Legislature is considering legislation that would create a scholarship program for those attending non-public schools.

House Bill 442 (HB442), sponsored by State Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville), would create the Alabama Fits All Scholarship Program (AFASP). The AFASP is a scholarship program administered by the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) for students enrolled in non-public schools.

Non-public schools are defined as private — religious or otherwise — parochial and church schools, including home-based programs.

Eligible participants must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be eligible to participate in public school in grades K-12.

  • Must be a resident of Alabama.

  • Does not receive a scholarship under the Alabama Accountability Act or any other program.

  • Is not enrolled in a public school for the school year, they are applying for a scholarship.

A program manager appointed by the ALSDE will transfer the necessary funds into the scholarship account.

Total funds will be capped at $6,900 per student for the 2024-2025 school year. For each following year, the maximum amount available is the previous year's total plus a percentage equal to the five-year rolling inflationary average.

The AFASP funds would be subject to legislative appropriations and may not exceed $45 million annually.

A parent may apply to a program manager on behalf of a student to establish and maintain a scholarship account to cover the cost of a scholarship expense.

Scholarship expenses can be:

  • Tuition and fees of a qualifying provider.

  • Fees and materials at a college under the Alabama Community College System.

  • Tutoring Services.

  • Fees for after-school/summer programs.

  • Textbooks and other instructional materials.

  • Educational software and apps.

  • Supplies and equipment related to the student's needs.

  • Technological devise.

  • Fees for specified examinations/prep courses.

  • Services for students with disabilities.

  • Contracted services approved by the program manager.

  • Transportation costs up to $750 per year.

  • Expenses for extracurricular activities.

  • Other expenses incurred in the education of the student are approved by the program manager.

Since funds are limited, preferential treatment will be given to those with scholarship accounts in the previous year and those whose siblings have accounts. It will also prioritize those at or below 200% of the federal poverty level or those with family incomes at 200-555% of the federal poverty level.

The AFASP comes as the chances of passage of the full school choice legislation, the PRICE Act, remains uncertain.

The legislature has seven more days to conduct business, although it typically adjourns one day early in case Gov. Kay Ivey chooses to veto legislation. Limited legislative days leave the final passage of the PRICE Act or the AFASP in question.

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