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Charter school funding bill clears committee this morning

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

A bill to expand charter school funding, including county level tax dollars, was approved in the Senate Education Policy Committee this morning. 

Senate Bill 302 was filed by Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, Wednesday. Parts of it are similar to a 2021 proposal to require local tax revenue to follow students to charter schools, non-traditional public schools. The 2021 bill was rejected by the House late in the session.

 Currently, both state and federal dollars follow students who leave traditional schools and enroll in charter schools, but local dollars do not. According to a fiscal note on the bill, “a start-up public charter school, located in the county where a student resides, shall receive a pro-rata share of the county-wide taxes.”

Marsh is one of the Legislature’s biggest proponents of school choice options but his massive bill to let per-pupil state funding flow to private schools and home schools appears to have stalled in this session.

Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, is sponsoring the House version of this legislation, House Bill 459. Collins sponsored in 2015 the state law to allow charter schools in the state.

This story will be updated.

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