This week is pivotal for the PRICE Act (SB202), also known as the Parental Rights in Children's Education Act, a school choice bill sponsored by State Sen. Larry Stutts (R-Tuscumbia) in the Alabama Senate.

The legislation, which has the support of State Sens. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore), Shay Shelnutt (R-Trussville), Will Barfoot (R-Pike Road), David Sessions (R-Grand Bay) and Steve Livingston (R-Scottsboro), had been condemned by critics who suggested the legislation was a backdoor intrusion into private and home school situations.

However, Stutts insists that is not the case given the voluntary aspects of the legislation.

During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," Stutts rejected the charge the bill was a so-called Trojan horse.

"I know that term has been used, but it's not a Trojan horse," Stutts declared. "And again, it's not government money. It's simply giving you part of your state tax money back to spend for your children's education in the way that you want to spend it. Now, to prevent fraud in that area, it does have to be the parents just aren't given the money. The money is put in an education savings account, and you would have a debit card. But you can only use it for approved education expenses, and you can only use it with an approved education vendor. You can't just say we're going to have a school with my children, and we're going to take the money. The homeschoolers have coverage with the umbrella organizations where they work together with great fashion. This is not going to impede that at all."

The Colbert County lawmaker encouraged those in favor of school choice to communicate their feelings to their senator and representative.

"I hope they will hear about it," he added. "I hope people will contact their senators and representatives and say, 'You need to do this. This is what we want. The squeaky wheel does get the grease, and so I absolutely would encourage everyone to contact their legislator."

Jeff Poor is the executive editor of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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