Sponsor tables Ga. vouchers bill

 

ATLANTA -- Tax-funded vouchers for private-school tuition won’t be available to foster children and military dependents after the Senate tabled a bill Wednesday that would have offered them.

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, sponsor of Senate Bill 87, argued that the existing vouchers program for handicapped students benefits the children and taxpayers. He noted that 90 percent of the handicapped students are making yearly progress in their private schools.

At the same time, the vouchers save taxpayers, he said. Only the roughly $6,300 in state money goes to the average student’s voucher while the remaining $3,000 or so in local money to educate the average student remains in the public school system after the student has transferred out.

“So, here we have a program that saves money and gives you better results, but we don’t have the votes to extend it,” said Rogers, a Woodstock Republican.

Rogers blamed public-school advocates with convincing his colleagues to oppose his bill. And the President of the Georgia Association of Educators, Calvine Rollins, took the credit.

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