Changes expected to the Accountability Act in Alabama - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Changes expected to the Accountability Act in Alabama

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Changes are on the way for one the states most controversial new laws.

Governor Robert Bentley's office says we can expect to see executive amendments to the education Accountability Act as early as Wednesday.

It provides tax credits to parents who wish to transfer their child from a failing public school to a private school. The law also allows parents to receive tax credit if they are zoned for a failing school and their child is already attending a private school.

Governor Bentley says his goal in signing the accountability act was never to provide government funding to private schools. But the governor agrees the law wasn't easy to understand. "The other part became somewhat confusing, the tax credits and all that. That kind of got everybody all upset over something, it really over shadowed the good part of the bill which was the flexibility that we were trying to give," Bentley added.

Tuscaloosa Academy is a private school in the governor's hometown. Dr. Jeffery Mitchell is the headmaster of the school. He says, as the law sits now, his school is still deciding whether it will accept government-funded scholarships for transfer students, under the law.

"The board and the administrator will think very carefully about how that process will work. Because we value our independence more than anything else really," Dr. Mitchell added.

The Alabama Education Association has been vocal about its opposition to the law. The local district director in Tuscaloosa says he hopes an amendment restricting tax credits to parents whose students are already in private schools may be among the governor's executive amendments. William Tunnell added, "I predict what the governor may be thinking is to reduce that or remove that and only allow tax credits for families who currently are in a public."

Although the governor's office won't release specifics about the upcoming amendments, private and public schools are hoping the changes will provide more government funding for their schools.

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