Kansas Senate votes to expand private school tax credit


February 12, 2021

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Senate has approved a bill to expand the state's private school tax credit program to apply to all students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

The Senate voted 23-14 on Thursday to expand program, which now applies only to students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches and who attend one of the state's lowest performing public elementary schools.

Republicans say the new criteria would help more students and give parents more options, WIBW reported.

"By expanding this targeted tax-credit program to more low-and-middle income families, we are meeting our obligation to provide all of our kids in Kansas the best opportunity to learn and excel," said Sen. Renee Erickson, a Wichita Republican.

Senate Democratic Leader Dinah Sykes, who opposed the bill, said she was concerned that private schools face little accountability.

"Yet Senate Republican leadership is putting public dollars in the hands of private schools, which can discriminate freely and operate without accountability to Kansas taxpayers," Sykes said. "While high-achieving students are hand-picked by private schools, struggling children are left behind with fewer resources and under-funded schools."

The bill now goes to the Kansas House.


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