Study suggests AL Accountability Act saved state $29.9 million

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

A recent study released by the Alabama Federation for Children suggests the scholarship tax credit program, set up by the Alabama Accountability Act, has saved the state millions of dollars.

According to the AFC, the study conducted by an independent research organization affiliated with Auburn Montgomery shows the program has saved the state $29.9 million over the course of 2014 and 2015.

During those years, 9,902 students received scholarships with 76 percent of those attending public schools previously, according to the study. The net savings was calculated by subtracting the public funds the state would have spent on those who received the scholarship from the taxes the state did not collect because of the tax credits claimed through the program.

“This study confirms what we have known to be true for a long time,” said Chad Mathis, State Chairman for the Alabama Federation for Children. “The tax credit scholarship program has not only changed the lives of thousands of Alabama students, but it is also saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.”

The study also says that every year that the $30 million cap is reached, the state realizes a net savings of $16.1 million. If the statutory cap was raised to $50 million, net savings would increase to $29.1 million per year.

“Over the past three and a half years, we have listened to countless opponents opine about how the scholarship program has cost the state tens of millions of dollars,” continued Mathis. “This study not only proves those opinions to be false, but it shows the opposite is actually true. I am sure opponents will continue to disparage the program and what it is doing for children all over this state, but they are going to have to find a new argument.”

Alabama Legislature passed the Alabama Accountability Act during the 2013 Regular Legislative Session, creating the state’s first educational choice programs.

To read the full study, click here.

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

ORIGINAL PUBLICATION