Senator Orr proposes amendments to AL Accountability Act - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Senator Orr proposes amendments to AL Accountability Act

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MORGAN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

The Alabama Accountability Act is already signed into law, but a local lawmaker is working to change the rules before its put into action.

Republican Senator Arthur Orr of Decatur said rather than be a voucher system to allow any student of any means to transfer from a failing school for better or private school, he wants the Accountability Act to focus on helping disadvantaged families.

Orr is proposing several amendments to the law. One would disqualify wealthier families from getting the tax credit.

He is also pushing to cap the credit at $7,200 per family per year; meaning only two children in the same family could get the credit.

He also wants to make students already enrolled in private schools ineligible for the credit.

By limiting the number of students eligible for the tax credit, those amendments would lower the cost to the state. The money to pay for the credits will come out of the Education Trust Fund.

Decatur City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols said he is very concerned about the effect on funding for local school districts but that Orr's amendments would help.

"It will minimize the amount of money that will be pulled off the top of the Education Trust Fund that will be taken from local school districts to fund it. Right now, $70-million is being pulled off the top of the Education trust Fund. That's $95 a student that would have come to the local school district. In Decatur, that's $800,000," Nichols said.

Orr said it may be difficult to get his amendments added on to the Alabama Accountability Act. The Senate could vote on it next week.

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