Alabama teachers union running out of chances to stop new private school tax credit law

Oct 12, 2013 by

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Education Association may be down to its last lawsuit in its continuing effort to kill a new state program that allows families in failing school districts to receive a $3,500 tax credit for use at the private school of their choice.

Last-chance reports the union’s first two lawsuits against the tax credit plan have been thrown out by the courts, though a third AEA lawsuit – filed in August – is still pending.

The pending lawsuit argues, among other things, that the tax credit law redirects public school funding to private religious schools in violation of the state Constitution’s prohibition of using tax dollars “for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry,” the writes.

Officials with the Institute for Justice, a pro-school choice group, believe the law will be upheld, and cite “a 1979 Alabama Supreme Court decision that upheld private tuition grants to colleges, including religious ones,” adds the news site.

However, if the courts find the tax credit plan unconstitutional, many of the 719 students who are using the program to attend private schools would be forced to return to their old, failing schools.

Some 30,000 children are eligible for the program.

At a Thursday press conference, mother Tequila Rogers said the tax credit initiative has allowed her 11-year-old son to escape a failing, government-run middle school for an academically solid Catholic school.

“The tax credit is allowing us to be able to receive the great education that I want for my child, and also he’s placed in an environment that is loving, caring and very educational friendly,” Rogers said, adding that neither she nor her son practice the Catholic faith.

Rogers is one of three parents who “are asking a judge to let them intervene” in the AEA lawsuit, reports the Associated Press.

It’s unclear what impact the parents’ involvement would have on the lawsuit.

What is clear is that the teachers union doesn’t like having parents testify how the program has been a lifesaver for their children.

The union couldn’t care less that failing government schools are robbing these children of their chance at a decent education, job and future. The only thing AEA leaders are worried about is how the loss of per-pupil funding may result in fewer union jobs in some schools – which will lead to a decrease in union dues payments.

The union’s lawsuit will go to trial beginning March 17, the AP reports.

Alabama teachers union running out of chances to stop new private school tax credit law – powered by Education Action Group Foundation, Inc..

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