Capitol Access
8:59 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Jindal Promises Continued State Funding for Vouchers

The State Supreme Court has ruled that the state can't pay private school tuition through the same funding channel as it uses to support public schools.

Now, Gov. Bobby Jindal is going to have to find another way to keep the voucher program going.

“I know there were a lot of moms out there waiting with baited breath to see what was going to happen in that court decision. I would tell those moms that they can breathe a deep sigh of relief," Jindal said Tuesday after the ruling was issued. "Their kids can stay in this program, they can count on this program, not only this year, but next year as well.”

Jindal suggested that vouchers will continue as a line item in the state budget.

Private school tuition for nearly 5,000 students cost $25 million for the current school year. Offers have already been made to roughly 8,000 students for next year, so the program could cost even more.

But the budget is tight.

The legislature has negotiated a way to free up one-time funds, which could be used for vouchers, but to do so, lawmakers want to cut tax exemptions.

Jindal strongly opposes cutting tax exemptions, calling the cuts a tax hike on businesses.

The debate is up in the air, but will be continued Thursday, when the budget bill hits the floor.

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