Alabama Accountability Act

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

Credit guidestar.org

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.
Credit istockphoto

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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Private School Tax Credits
5:10 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Alabama Seeks Dismissal Of School Transfer Suit

State attorneys are asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center seeking to block a new state law allowing students to transfer from failing schools.
Credit Alabama School Readiness Alliance

State attorneys are asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center seeking to block a new state law allowing students to transfer from failing schools.

The state attorney general's staff filed papers saying the plaintiffs lacked legal standing and failed to state a valid equal protection claim. In an order Monday, U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins set a schedule for each side to file briefs, with the last brief due on Oct. 21.

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Alabama Accountability Act
8:12 am
Fri September 13, 2013

ALA Democrat Calls to Strip Accountability Funding

Ala. House Minority Leader Craig Ford
AP Photo/Dave Martin

An Alabama Democrat says the Accountability Act has failed and is asking lawmakers to divert funding intended for tax credits to another educational program.

   House Minority Leader Craig Ford, of Gadsden, said Thursday that he'd like to see the state reallocate $40 million meant for tax credits under the legislation used instead to expand the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative.

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Alabama Accountability Act
8:40 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Lawsuit Filed to Block Ala. Accountability Act

Maggie Martin/APR News

State lawmakers and education officials have filed a state lawsuit to have the Alabama Accountability Act ruled unconstitutional.

   The Montgomery Advertiser reported Wednesday (http://on.mgmadv.com/15yhreh) that the suit was filed on behalf of Democratic state Sen. Quinton Ross of Montgomery, Lowndes County schools Superintendent Daniel Boyd and Alabama Education Association president Anita Gibson.

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Private School tax credits
4:38 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Ala. Superintendent Says Few Transferring Schools

State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice says preliminary survey data shows 51 students have used the new Alabama Accountability Act to transfer from a failing public school to a private school.
Credit The Montgomery Advertiser

Alabama's public schools aren't seeing an exodus of students taking advantage of private school tax credits.

State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice told the state school board Thursday that preliminary survey data shows 51 students have used the new Alabama Accountability Act to transfer from a failing public school to a private school.

He told AL.com that not all school systems have responded to a department survey, but he doesn't expect the figure to increase much because the state's largest systems have responded.

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Private School Tax Credits
4:47 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Suit Challenges Ala. Private School Tax Credits

Gov. Robert Bentley says the Alabama Accountability Act gives failing schools the flexibility to make changes and improve. His remarks come after the SPLC filed a federal suit seeking to block the law.
yellowhammernews.com

Gov. Robert Bentley says the Alabama Accountability Act is designed to help students in all public schools.

The governor spoke out Monday after the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal court suit seeking to block the law. The suit says some impoverished students can't access part of the law providing tax credits for families that move their children from failing public schools to private schools.

Bentley says another portion of the law gives those failing schools the flexibility to make changes and improve.

Private School Tax Credits
5:24 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Rule On Private School Transfer Raises Concerns

The only proposed rule for Alabama's new private school tax credits that's raising any concern is one saying the credits don't apply for children already in private school.

The only proposed rule for Alabama's new private school tax credits that's raising any concern is one saying the credits don't apply for children already in private school.

Alabama's Revenue Department planned a full day Thursday for a public hearing about its proposed rules for implementing the new Alabama Accountability Act. Few people showed up.

The new law provides state tax credits for parents who transfer their children from a failing public school to a private school.

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