Last month, State Sen. Del Marsh (R-Anniston) introduced what he deemed to be the "mother of all school choice bills," formally known as the Parents' Choice Act (SB140).

If passed into law, the legislation would give parents $5,500 in state funds to apply to their child's education. However, the bill was sent to a "study group," which historically has been a death knell for legislation in the near term.

State Sen. Will Barfoot (R-Pike Road) told Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show" Wednesday that should this not be the year for the retiring Marsh's proposal, it will come back in the next quadrennium.

"I do," Barfoot said. "Senator Marsh has kind of led the fight on this. You're correct -- he's going to be through with public service in this arena and he is going on to do other things, and I congratulate him for that. But it's not just an issue because of Senator Marsh. It's an issue [because] the people of the state of Alabama are concerned about our test scores. They're concerned about education that the kids are getting or not getting in some unfortunate situations.

"And so it is an issue that will continue, I believe, in the legislature. Maybe we'll see Senator Marsh's bill. Maybe we can correct the problems this year. If not, though, I think that will not go away, and it shouldn't. We should try to have that conversation. We should try to come up with a resolution for education, especially as it relates to giving the parents the opportunity to figure out how, where and why they want to educate their kids."

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