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An education savings grant bill will be in committee on Monday. The bill would, Senate File 372, would provide the amount equal to the statewide average regular program state foundation aid per pupil in the same school year.

While those who oppose the bill continually talked about the money being public dollars that belong to public schools, I tend to believe those are dollars come from parents and taxpayers and belong to parents and children.

“Absolutely it is,” said. Sen. Jerry Behn. “There’s a lot of taxpayer money involved and there’s a lot of taxpayers who quite frankly don’t even have any children. They’re paying now for everybody else’s education. It really is an entire budget process. We’re going to have to look at it and going to have to be as careful as we can with the money. But I’m so convinced that competition is absolutely vital to make all school districts compete for those children.”

For those families that send their kids to private school or homeschool them, Behn said if they don’t want the strings that may be attached to those dollars, they can not take the money.

“I would say they’d have to just look at the program,” he said. “That’s part of the parental choice thing. They can decide what’s appropriate for their children. If there are strings that they don’t like, they don’t have to do it.”

Author: Jacob Hall