Alabama Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth calls Senate failure to pass school choice legislation a disappointment as the session comes to an end.

The Parental Rights in Children's Education (PRICE) Act was filed in the middle of the session in both bodies. The Senate version is carried by State Sen. Larry Stutts (R-Tuscumbia), and the House version by State Rep. Ernie Yarbrough (R-Trinity).

The legislation would allow parents with children in non-public schools to start an education savings account to use state education funds towards their children's education.

Several public education groups, including the Alabama Education Association, opposed the bill.

Even though the majority of Alabama voters want school choice, according to a poll by the Alabama Republican Party, the legislature engaged in what Stutts called "stalling tactics" as the bill moved sluggishly through two Senate committees. As the legislative days wound down, the Act never made it to the Senate floor for a vote.  

In a recent appearance on 93.1 WCAV’s "News and Views" with Joey Clark, Ainsworth said failing to pass the PRICE Act was a disappointment this session.

[Relevant portion beginning around the 30:02 mark]

“We passed an expansion of the Accountability Act, which is a school choice expansion, but I really wanted to go further,” Ainsworth said on Thursday when asked if had any disappointment from this session. “And, you know, have an education savings account. There was a bill called the PRICE Act we weren't able to get that passed, but we’re going to continue to push and get something like that, whether it’s that bill or another bill, passed for the future."

"But I think the goal should be in Alabama for all parents to have true educational choice and opportunities, and we’re going to keep fighting hard to make that a reality," he added.

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