ATLANTA, GA-- The man who helped write a law creating a student scholarship program denies it is being misused by middle and upper income families. In fact, he says the law is meant to benefit families of all incomes.
Others remember the law taking shape differently.
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The scholarship provides income tax credits to families who enroll their children in private school. It passed in 2008, and its backers remember it being sold in the legislature as a program to benefit lower income families.
But the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Earl Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs) says no-- it was always about school choice for all families.
"It is school choice, very clearly that. We didn't base it in income," said Ehrhart. "We based it on the needs of the child's education."
But among those who followed the legislation in 2008 and listened to the testimony and arguments, remember it differently.
"I think the prevailing wisdom was that it would be benefiting families who wouldn't otherwise have the ability to send their child to a different environment," said Jamie Lord, a lobbyist for the Center for an Educated Georgia.
Revisionist history, says Rep. Ehrhart: "They're creating an intent in my mind on a bill that I authored. It's a fallacious argument. It's just not true."
The scholarship has spent close to $150 million in state money since it was enacted.