Alabama Accountability Act

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5:47 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Alabama Accountability Act, Cancer Specialists Call for Medicaid Expansion and Orion

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The Alabama Supreme Court has heard arguments on the constitutionality of a law that gives low-income families tax credits to pay for private school.

A lawyer representing individuals challenging the Alabama Accountability Act said Wednesday that it does an end run on Alabama's prohibition of using education funds to support private religious schools.

However, a lawyer representing families using the credits said it supports parents seeking education opportunities for their children, not private schools.

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Alabama Accountability Act
3:38 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Alabama Supreme Court looks at Alabama Accountability Act

Alabama Supreme Court
Credit The Birmingham News File

The Alabama Supreme Court has heard arguments on the constitutionality of a law that gives low-income families tax credits to pay for private school.

   A lawyer representing individuals challenging the Alabama Accountability Act said Wednesday that it does an end run on Alabama's prohibition of using education funds to support private religious schools.

   However, a lawyer representing families using the credits said it supports parents seeking education opportunities for their children, not private schools.

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Court-Accountability Act
3:46 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Alabama Court To Hear Accountability Act Appeal

The Alabama Supreme Court will hear arguments Dec. 3 on the state government's appeal of a judge's ruling striking down the Alabama Accountability Act.
Credit The Birmingham News file

The Alabama Supreme Court will hear arguments Dec. 3 on the state government's appeal of a judge's ruling striking down the Alabama Accountability Act.

The case is third on the court's docket for a hearing that starts at 9 a.m. in Montgomery.

The Accountability Act provides state tax credits for parents to move children from public schools rated as failing to private schools. It also provides tax credits for individuals and businesses that contribute to scholarships for low-income students to attend private schools rather than public schools.

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Business & Education
6:26 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Gov. Riley's Group Awards 1,474 Scholarships

Governor Bob Riley
Credit Wikimedia Commons

An organization headed by former Gov. Bob Riley has awarded nearly 1,500 scholarships for students to attend private schools rather than failing public schools.

The Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund released enrollment figures Monday, as well as an audit report saying none of its board members, including Riley, received any money.

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Accountability Act
3:50 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Some Wrongly Claim Alabama Tax Credit

State tax officials say some parents wrongly claimed tax credits under the new Alabama Accountability Act and are being asked to return it.
Credit istockphoto

State tax officials say some parents wrongly claimed tax credits under the new Alabama Accountability Act and are being asked to return it.

State Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee and Deputy Commissioner Curtis Stewart say the department's review is ongoing and it's too early to say how many will be asked to return their refunds or pay additional taxes.

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Politics & Government
1:33 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Congressman Bradley Byrne Talks Education, Aviation

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile)
byrne.house.gov

Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne is pushing for changes to education in Alabama that he says will make the system work better.  He says in speaking with school superintendents in the Mobile area, one thing he’s hearing a lot is that the federal government is at times making the jobs of educators' lives harder.

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Politics & Government
6:22 am
Thu July 24, 2014

9 Scholarships Awarded from $24.8 Million Raised

Credit alabamaschoolconnection.org

A report by the Alabama Revenue Department shows scholarship granting organizations raised nearly $24.8 million in tax-deductible donations through the Alabama Accountability Act, but granted only nine scholarships in their first semester.

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Politics & Government
6:21 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Law Center Appeals Accountability Act Ruling

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The Southern Poverty Law Center is taking its legal challenge of the Alabama Accountability Act to a federal appeals court.

The Montgomery-based group has asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review a federal judge's decision rejecting the law center's challenge of the state law.

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Private School Tax Credits
3:57 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Judge Delays Enforcing School Tax Credits Ruling

An Alabama judge will delay enforcing his decision outlawing tax credits for private school students in Alabama.

An Alabama judge will delay enforcing his decision outlawing tax credits for private school students in Alabama.

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Gene Reese issued a hand-written order Monday agreeing to delay implementation of his ruling against the Republican-based Alabama Accountability Act.

The judge agreed with the state to block his order, meaning the tax credit program can go ahead while appeals courts consider the issue.

The law allows state tax credits for parents who move their children from failing public schools to private schools.

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Private School Tax Credits
5:18 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Judge Overturns Alabama Accountability Act

A Montgomery judge has struck down Alabama's tax credits for parents who move their children from failing public schools to private schools.
Credit istockphoto

A Montgomery judge has struck down Alabama's tax credits for parents who move their children from failing public schools to private schools.

Circuit Judge Gene Reese ruled Wednesday that the Alabama Accountability Act is unconstitutional. He said it violates the state Constitution's requirement for the Legislature to have only one subject in a bill.

The Legislature passed the law in 2013. It was challenged in court by members of the state teachers' organization, the Alabama Education Association.

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Politics & Government
1:38 am
Fri April 18, 2014

AEA Battles Tax Credits in Court, at Ballot Box

Alabama Education Association

The state teachers' organization is fighting private school tax credits in court and the architect of the tax credits at the ballot box.

The Alabama Education Association's political action committee filed a campaign finance report showing the largest donation it gave in March was $50,000 to Democratic state Senate candidate Taylor Stewart of Anniston. Stewart is opposing Republican Sen. Del Marsh of Anniston, who was the chief architect of the Alabama Accountability Act.

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Private School Tax Credits
3:57 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Former Governor Leads Ala. Scholarship Group

Former Gov. Bob Riley says he's serving as the unpaid chairman of a scholarship organization because he believes in a new Alabama law that provides scholarships to families that move their children from failing public schools.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Former Gov. Bob Riley says he's serving as the unpaid chairman of a scholarship organization because he believes in a new Alabama law that provides scholarships to families that move their children from failing public schools.

Riley started the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund with Tampa businessman John Kirtley, who started a similar program in Florida.

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Private School Tax Credits
3:57 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Alabama Taxpayers Contributing To Get Tax Credits

Nearly 600 Alabama businesses and individuals are getting state tax credits by contributing to private school scholarship programs.
Credit kootation.com

Nearly 600 Alabama businesses and individuals are getting state tax credits by contributing to private school scholarship programs.

The tax credits were included in the Alabama Accountability Act that the Legislature passed in February. State Revenue Department spokeswoman Carla Snellgrove says that 582 donors have given $19.5 million to organizations set up under the new law to provide scholarships to students who move from failing public schools to participating private schools.

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Private School Tax Credits
4:14 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Alabama Court Modifies Ruling Tossing AEA Suit

The Alabama Supreme Court has changed some of the wording its recent ruling tossing out a lawsuit against the Alabama Accountability Act, but it didn't change the result.
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The Alabama Supreme Court has changed some of the wording its recent ruling tossing out a lawsuit against the Alabama Accountability Act, but it didn't change the result.

On Sept. 20, the state's highest court blocked a lawsuit that members of the Alabama Education Association filed against four legislators to challenge the new law. Even though the legislators won, they asked the court to reconsider part of the ruling that said the Accountability Act appropriated public funds.

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Private School Tax Credits
4:37 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Alabama AG Says Blocking Law Won't Help Students

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is telling a federal judge that blocking the new Alabama Accountability Act won't help students in failing public schools.
Credit LutherStrange.com

Alabama's attorney general is telling a federal judge that blocking the new Alabama Accountability Act won't help students in failing public schools.

Attorney General Luther Strange is trying to get U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of eight students in failing schools.

The suit challenges the law on equal protection grounds, saying the law's transfer provisions aren't open to the students because there aren't any non-failing public schools or private schools nearby that will accept transfers.

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