April 6, 2010

Private school aid tax credit in trouble in House committee

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By Erich Wagner
Erich@MarylandReporter.com

The House Ways and Means Committee may prove again to be a stumbling block for passage of a bill rewarding companies for contributing to scholarship programs at private schools.

The Building Opportunities for All Students and Teachers (BOAST) providing for a tax credit passed the Senate in March, but has not been voted out of committee in the House. Del. Anne Kaiser, chair of the education subcommittee for the Ways and Means Committee, says the legislation does not have enough support within her subcommittee.

“People are still talking about the bill,” Kaiser said, “But there’s not enough support for it as it is.”

Kaiser added that some lawmakers are interested in finding ways to help private schools that are strapped for cash. Committee members are drafting “lots” of amendments for the bill, although she doesn’t know what they address.

She said she was unsure whether her subcommittee or the full Ways and Means Committee would return to the issue.

“It depends on whether we can come back to a bill that we can all agree on,” Kaiser said.