Members of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee have printed a bill, introduced by Sen. Bob Nonini (R-CDA), that would incentivize—in the form of tax credits—individuals and corporations to donate money to fund private school scholarships to Idaho children.
According to the bills’ sponsors, HB 227 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/H0227.htm), would assure that any Idaho citizen would receive a tax credit equal to 100% of their donation and corporations would receive tax credit equal to the full amount of their donations up to 50% of the corporate taxpayer’s total state tax liability to help fund these private school scholarships.
Does this bill sound familiar? It should. It is basically the same concept introduced last year by then Rep. Nonini.
Action: Contact members of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee (http://legislature.idaho.gov/about/contactbycommittee.cfm) and urge them to vote NO on HB 227.
Charter School Funding Bills to Be Debated
House Education Chairman Reed DeMordaunt (R-Eagle) used a rare procedural move to pull a bill back to his education committee today.
Yesterday, the House Ed Committee voted to send HB 206 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/H0206.htm) to the floor with a “do pass” recommendation. This piece of legislation would provide facilities funding for charter schools.
Rep DeMordaunt’s request is likely the result of an inquiry made yesterday by Rep. Janie Ward-Engelking (D-Boise). She had hoped to amend the legislation, but was informed that she could not do so. The bill is posted for committee discussion on tomorrow’s House Ed Committee agenda.
Also on tomorrow’s House Ed Committee agenda is HB 221 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/H0221.htm). This bill would authorize Idaho public and private non-sectarian colleges and universities and approved 501(c)(3) organizations to approve charter schools.
Both HB 206 and HB 221are supported, in part, by the Idaho School Boards Association and the Idaho Association of School Administrators.
Does your superintendent support skimming funds off the top of the public school budget to fund charter school facilities? Does your local school board agree that Idaho law should be loosened up to allow for more charter authorizing entities?
We encourage you to call your school board members and your local administrators and ask them whether they support these pieces of legislation. If not, urge them to ask members of the House to vote NO on these two measures.
No Online Graduation Requirement for Now
The House Education Committee voted to approve a rule eliminating the requirement that every Idaho student complete two online courses as a prerequisite to graduation.
There had been some concern that lawmakers would attempt to reject this rule. While several committee members raised questions in discussion about the rule, the panel ultimately voted to approve the rule as written, effectively eliminating any online course requirement.
The concept of online course requirements will likely be a topic that the Governor’s Task Force will weigh in on during the next legislative session.