Lawmakers alter Ala. private school scholarship program

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama lawmakers have voted to expand a program that provides scholarships to help some families pay for private school and also lowered income requirements on the scholarships.

The Alabama House and Senate on Wednesday approved a conference committee agreement on Alabama Accountability Act changes. The program championed by some GOP lawmakers provides the scholarships by giving income tax credits to program donors.

The legislation expands the yearly cumulative cap on donations by $5 million. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says the program provides education options to families and the changes will tighten accountability.

The bill lowers the income requirements on scholarship recipients to 185 percent of the federal poverty level. It also puts new reporting requirements on the scholarship-granting organizations.

The bill now goes to Gov Robert Bentley.