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2017 Legislative Wrap up –

The 2017 legislative session concluded in the wee hours of Saturday, April 22.

SCHOOL TUITION ORGANIZATION PROGRAM – The STO tax credit program was not cut this session, which is a school choice victory, in light of the dire budget projections. Some other tax credit programs were cut. The program cap was not raised, nor was the income eligibility level, as proposed by some legislators.

EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS – We’ve all heard the discouraging news regarding the state revenue outlook. As a result, passage of an ESA did not happen. Keep in mind, this General Assembly is a two-year process – legislators are still interested in this idea and we will keep working on this during the interim. There are also ways to craft an ESA so that is has little or no impact on the state budget. If you support the concept of ESAs, please keep talking to your state legislators about this idea!

NONPUBLIC SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION –Senate File 516 – Funding of transportation services for nonpublic school students was cut in this budget bill. The funding was cut $278,000 in this current fiscal year. Next year’s budget continues cutting nonpublic school transportation funding for a total cut of $363,000. The funding is used by public school districts to provide transportation or to reimburse parents for the cost of transporting students to nonpublic schools, as required under state law.

VIRTUAL ACADEMIES – The enrollment cap on virtual academy enrollment was lifted by the legislature this session.