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Thursday, April 10, 2008


The House of Representatives on April 9 voted 80-58 to strip a private school voucher provision from a bill to raise minimum teacher salaries. As a result, House Majority Leader Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, told The Associated Press he will not allow a final vote on the measure. “That bill will not see the light of day,” Tilley said.

The voucher provision of HB 2040 would have granted tax breaks to donors to a scholarship fund for children with autism or other special needs to attend private or parochial schools. Opponents called the bill a thinly veiled attempt to open the door to taxpayer support of private and parochial schools to the detriment of public school funding. State Rep. Maynard Wallace, R-Thornfield, sponsored the amendment to remove the voucher provision.

The teacher salary component of the overall bill, which was sponsored by House Speaker Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill, purported to increase the minimum teacher salary to $31,000 a year from the current $24,000. However, no money was appropriated for the increase.

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