MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Senate passed an education savings account bill, the CHOOSE Act, on Wednesday by a 23-9 margin.

The bill passed the House on February 27. Gov. Kay Ivey will sign the bill into law Thursday morning.

 "Today, we've finally overcome the last hurdle in enacting Alabama's historic education savings account plan after the Alabama Senate strongly approved the CHOOSE Act," Ivey said. "While our state has a strong public education system, all Alabama families will soon have the right to choose their children's schools. This monumental achievement would not have been possible without the unwavering support of Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Reed and Senator Arthur Orr. I am grateful for their efforts, as well as our partners in the State House, for maximizing education freedom in Alabama. We want every Alabama student – whether they are at a public school, private school, magnet, charter or homeschool – the opportunity to receive a high-quality education. I look forward to signing the CHOOSE Act into law."

The bill would allow the Department of Revenue to manage the ESAs for approved students. The ESA would be funded through a refundable income tax credit available to eligible parents. The individual credit would be $7,000 for students in participating schools, while non-participating school students — such as homeschooled students — are $2,000 per student and $4,000 per family.

Under the bill, the legislature must appropriate not less than $100 million to the program's fund, beginning with appropriations made for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2026, and continuing annually after that. 

 "We have crafted education savings account legislation that addresses the needs of an important segment of the needs of our school children while preserving the fiscal integrity of our public schools," State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) said. "CHOOSE empowers parents with the freedom to select the best school for their child. By granting parents the power to choose, we provide every child with the opportunity for a quality education, regardless of their income or ZIP code."

For the 2025-2026 and 2026-2027 school years, families with income up to 300% of the federal poverty level, or currently $93,600 for a family of four, are eligible, and beginning in the 2027-2028 school year and beyond, any family is eligible. Every year, the first 500 slots are reserved for special-needs students. Priority is given to students already participating in the program, their siblings, and military families zoned for failing schools.

"Every kid growing up in our state should have access to a quality education, a good job, and a better life right here in Alabama," Senate Majority Leader Steve Livingston (R-Scottsboro) said. "Republicans are breaking the cycle of keeping kids in failing schools and trapping them in poverty. We are standing up for our students. And we are defending the right for parents to make the best decision for their child."

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