COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – Former Florida Governor and 2016 Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush spoke to the House Republican Caucus Tuesday afternoon.
Bush’s comments were focused on expanding school choice options in the state. He voiced support for education scholarship accounts.
“The world gets better when parents are making more choices,” he told lawmakers.
Currently, the House Education and Public Works Committee is considering S.39. The legislation would give parents taxpayer funded $6000 per year education scholarship accounts, commonly referred to as vouchers, that could be used to pay for things like private school tuition or other education related expenses.
The program would be phased in over time once it’s fully implemented, it would be open to 15,000 students a year. Bush said states like Florida with these kind of programs in place have seen educational outcomes improve for students.
Critics of the legislation said the use of state money to help cover private school tuition violates the state constitution.
During the House Education and Public Works committee meeting, Fairfield County Schools Superintendent Dr. JR Green said, “If we truly want to provide choice to parents, we need to consider a couple of things, first of all access. This bill allows private schools to pick and choose which students they serve.”
The committee did not take any action on the bill Tuesday.
The legislation passed the state Senate with a 28-15 vote mostly along party lines in January.