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Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Signs School Choice Bill Into Law

Posted on Thursday June 28, 2012 | Virginia

RICHMOND, VA (June 28, 2012)—Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell yesterday signed into law the Education Improvement Tax Credit bill, making the Old Dominion State the latest to be home to a scholarship tax credit program for children from low- and middle-income families.

The American Federation for Children—the nation's voice for school choice—was on hand in Richmond for the bill signing. Watch what advocates had to say in the video below.

 

 

Under the program, individuals and businesses can donate money to nonprofit scholarship organizations that grant scholarships to qualified students.  The program will have an annual cap of $25 million.

“This is an important step forward for Virginia families on the road to providing educational options to the families who need them most,” said Betsy DeVos, chairman of the American Federation for Children.  “We applaud the governor and legislators for building upon the momentum of last year and continuing to expand school choice.”

AFC invested heavily in the legislative effort, working with local allies to develop and advance a high-quality bill. Though efforts have been pledged to try to fine-tune and improve upon the program’s provisions, it represents a significant step forward in the national movement to expand educational options to all families.

In February, hundreds of parents, students, and advocates joined the Governor and state legislators at a rally at the state capitol to express their support for the creation of a scholarship tax credit program.

The program is the first-ever private school choice program in Virginia.  There are currently 31 private school choice programs across the nation, 13 of which are scholarship tax credit programs. More than 210,000 students benefited from school choice programs during the 2011-12 school year.