House Finance returns ‘Hope Scholarship’ for all delegates to consider

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A bill allowing families to use public money for private education costs is referred to the Plenary Chamber of Delegates.

The House finance committee passed the 2013 House bill on Monday afternoon after considering some financial concerns with the bill.

The “Hope Fellowship” would be established with funds from the State Department of Education to pay for expenses such as tuition, tutoring, fees for standardized tests, or educational therapy. Students would be eligible if they leave public school to pursue private or home study.

The bill has already passed in the plenary chamber once, but the bill has been withdrawn and sent to the Finance Committee for questions on possible financial effects.

As originally designed, education savings accounts could be used by students leaving public schools to attend private schools, religious schools, or homeschool. Students who are just old enough to enroll would also be eligible. The initial cost was estimated at a little more over $ 22 million.

A tax note filed by the State Department of Education estimated the cost could be $ 126,557,939 if all private or homeschool students are eligible by 2027.

“The actual cost to the state will depend on the number of students enrolled, the number of applicants and the net amounts of state aid per pupil at the time of implementation and widening of eligibility,” according to the tax note.

An amended bill considered by the committee includes a …

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