Legislation we are watching

As state legislatures begin their 2011 sessions, redefinED will be watching a growing number of measures in the works that would establish tax credit scholarship programs. Today, Virginia’s House Finance Committee will take up HB 2314, which would launch the Education Investment Tax Credit. Tommorow, a New Jersey assembly committee on economic development will consider that state’s proposed Opportunity Scholarship Act.

While many policy watchers and columnists are crediting this resurgence of “voucher” type plans to the mass of Republican governors and legislative leaders who took office in the recent elections, the following proposals are notable for the bipartisan support that has surfaced. “It used to be that anything resembling a ‘voucher’ was taboo among Democrats,” said Tom Byrne, who served two terms as chairman of New Jersey’s Democrat Party from 1994 to 1997. “But many have come to see school choice as a civil rights issue.”

During the next few months, we will provide frequent updates on the status of these plans. Below is a list of bills that have been filed so far, with links to more information:

IndianaHB 1003 (School Scholarships): Primary sponsors: Representatives Behning and Bosma; referred to Committee on Education

New JerseyS 1872 (Opportunity Scholarship Act): Primary sponsors: Senators Lesniak and Kean — A 2810 (Opportunity Scholarship Act): Primary sponsors: Assemblymen Fuentes, DeCroce, Schaer and Webber; up before the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee

PennsylvaniaSB 1 (Opportunity Scholarships and Educational Improvement Tax Credit): Primary sponsors: Senators Piccola, Williams; referred to education committee

South CarolinaS 414 (Educational Opportunity Act): Primary sponsor: Senator Grooms; referred to Committee on Education — H 3407 (Educational Opportunity Act): Primary sponsor: Representative Herbkersman; referred to Committee on Ways and Means

VirginiaHB 2314 (Education Investment Tax Credit): Primary sponsor: Delegate Jimmie Massie; taken up today by the House Finance Committee

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BY Amy Graham

Amy Graham is a policy analyst who recently joined Step Up For Students, a nonprofit organization that administers the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program for low-income children. A graduate of the Florida State University College of Law, Amy previously worked as a legislative analyst for the Florida Senate and as an education policy analyst focused on school choice programs for the Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice at the Florida Department of Education. She also is an alumnus of Illinois Wesleyan University.


We’re sorry for the oversight, Brandon. By all means, we’ll keep track of 969, the proposed Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act.

Mary Sinyard

Please watch out for this one too. We can’t lose funding. I would love to speak on the floor on this one. DestiNation ImagiNation is world wide- Check us out.


Texas DI is in need of your help. With all the funding cuts that are presently being discussed by the Texas Legislature and Governor, Texas DI is in danger of facing the loss of our grant money given through TEA. Texas DI is asking that you join a group effort to educate our legislators about the DI program, the benef…its to students, and the impact state funds have on students.
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Mary Sinyard

It al begins on the capital floor. Speak out to save DestiNation Imagination in texas.

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