Gator Scholarship program getting closer to final passage

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The Gator Scholarship program, an expanded version of school vouchers, is nearing final passage. The amended bill passed in the House on a 67-29 vote. Carencro Representative Julie Emerson presented the amendments in the House and said instead of phasing in a dollar amount annually…

“We removed the actual years of the phases. So, it will still start in 2025-2026 but we just switched them to phases instead of actual years so we can implement it faster or slower at needed as appropriated funds allow,” said Emerson.

Emerson said the bill also amended the list of approved items of how the money can be spent on school-related expenses.

“Then also of course BESE can still use their rule-making ability and can still approve additional expenses if things arise,” said Emerson.

And the allocation amounts were removed from the bill and Emerson said BESE will oversee that. She said they also added specific reporting requirements for BESE to present to the legislature annually.

“Which I think is good it just helps us understand how the program’s performing, how it’s doing, how many students are receiving it, things of that nature,” said Emerson.

The amended bill returns to the Senate for final passage. Governor Jeff Landry, who’s expressed his support of the bill, is expected to sign the legislation.

 

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