Divided Senate OKs expanded tax funds for private schools

Republicans in the Arizona Senate on Feb. 1 approved a proposal to quadruple the size of a program that allows people to use tax money for private school tuition for foster children and students with disabilities.

The measure is among several proposed expansions of Arizona’s wide-ranging programs to aid private and religious schools with public money.

The Senate approved the proposal backers say creates more choices for parents who couldn’t otherwise afford private school tuition on a 16-14 party-line vote. It now goes to the House for consideration.

GOP Sen. David Livingston’s Senate Bill 1041 would expand the cap on the smallest of the four tax credits used to provide scholarships to School Tuition Organizations that award them to parents to pay private school tuition. It applies to any child who has ever been in foster care or ever had a disability. There are no income limits.

Corporations and insurance companies has donate to the program and get a 100% tax credit. It is currently capped at $5 million. His bill would take the cap to $20 million over the next three years.

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Proposed Arizona State Senate bill will give students mental health days

A bill passed unanimously in the Arizona State Senate will allow for mental health days to be counted as excused absences for Arizona students.