Alabama Accountability Act 2014
A report released this week by the Alabama Department of Revenue shows that less than one-third of the students receiving help through the Alabama Accountability Act last year actually came from failing public schools as the law intended. More than 57-hundred private-school scholarships totaling more than 23 and a half million dollars were awarded in 2014, according to the report, and just over 17-hundred of those were given to children who otherwise would have gone to failing public schools. The rest of the money was given to families who met income requirements for the program but whose schools were not on the failure list. When it was passed in 2013, the Accountability Act set up a 35-hundred dollar tax credit for families with children in those failing schools, and it established the tax credit-based scholarship program that provided most of the money for these students. Although critics have complained that tax money should not be used for this program, the act’s chief sponsor says he believes it is a success. State Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh of Anniston tells the Decatur Daily that he expects even more scholarship money to be given out next year. The Alabama Legislature recently increased the total scope of the program from 25-million dollars to 30-million dollars per year, and Marsh says he expects the scholarships to reach the new maximum quickly.