Senate Bill 4, a bill which is basically a backdoor voucher program, or what Republicans call “tax credit scholarships” is coming up for a vote this week, possibly tomorrow.
Under the program, businesses would be allowed to donate up to 50 percent of their yearly franchise tax liability to one of 25 pre-approved “educational assistance organizations,” according to Bettencourt’s statement. Those non-profits would then be allowed to provide public $500 scholarships and private school scholarships worth up to 75 percent of the average amount the state currently pays per public school student — or about $5,927.
The bill includes several provisions critics have demanded, including one to ensure students who receive scholarships are needy and others requiring that private schools receiving public money be accredited and administer annual “nationally norm-referenced” exams.
But some education groups still oppose the program, contending it is “school vouchers by another name.”
Here is a statement from the Texas Latino Education Coalition: