Before I begin, let me agree with you: Yes, this blog is definitely spending an inordinate amount of attention on the state of Kansas recently. But trust me, it’s for a good reason this time. Two weeks ago I told you that the Sunflower State was on the verge of creating the newest private school choice program.
Well, as of a couple days ago, it’s official. As the American Federation for Children explains, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed scholarship tax credits into law on Monday:
The Corporate Education Tax Credit Scholarship Program provides $10 million in state tax credits to businesses that donate money to nonprofit organizations that provide scholarships to students that quality for the federal free or reduced-priced lunch program, as well as students with special needs, to attend the private school of their parents’ choice.
So, for those of you with a tally sheet at home, that makes 19 states operating 40 different private school choice programs. To narrow it down a bit, there are as of Monday 14 states with 18 scholarship tax credit programs!
Since my Education Policy Center friends came out with the paper A Scholarship Tax Credit Program for Colorado just over a year ago, three new states have joined the ranks: Alabama, South Carolina, and now Kansas. While it has a few differences, the program is very similar to the one proposed for Colorado.
The momentum to help Colorado Kids Win in a similar fashion continues growing. And having our neighbors to the east push the trend makes it easier to talk about here.
So yes, some of you may not want to be in Kansas anymore, but I will keep mentioning the state as long as its leaders keep doing great things for kids, like start to open the doors of opportunity for more low-income and special-needs students. Isn’t that something we all can get excited about?