Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) vetoed a bill today that would have provided public school students with a voucher to be spent on private school tuition.
The General Assembly had narrowly passed the bill, HB 1605 sponsored by Del. David LaRock (R-10), who represents western Loudoun. The legislation would have allowed parents of public preschool through high school students to apply for a “one-year, renewable Parental Choice Education Savings Account” in a similar amount to what the state would spend on the child in a public school setting.
For Loudoun families, that’s about $4,000 a year.
LaRock called the proposal a “win-win,” saying that it would improve educational access and opportunities for students and give parents more flexibility over their children’s education.
In an emailed statement today, he said, “I’m disappointed that Governor McAuliffe would turn his back to children whose educational needs are not being met in the public school setting. Constituents have told me how public schools are failing to meet the federally mandated requirements of their child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Wealthy families already have school choice, but this bill would have expanded that freedom and opportunity to thousands of vulnerable kids.”
Loudoun County representatives Del. Thomas A. “Tag” Greason (R-32) and Sen. Richard H. Black (R-13) also sponsored the bill.
A similar bill sponsored by LaRock and aimed at providing the vouchers just for students with disabilities was approved by the full General Assembly last year, but McAuliffe also vetoed that measure.