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Former governor leads Ala. scholarship group

December 30, 2013
Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Former Gov. Bob Riley says he's serving as the unpaid chairman of a scholarship organization because he believes in a new Alabama law that provides scholarships to families that move their children from failing public schools.

Riley started the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund with Tampa businessman John Kirtley, who started a similar program in Florida.

The new Alabama Accountability Act provides for individuals and businesses to donate to scholarship funds to help families make the transfer to participating private schools or non-failing public schools. Riley wrote a newspaper op-ed article ( saying the program has worked well in Florida. He said affluent parents have always had school choice, but the scholarship program provides an option for low-income families.

Riley's organization is one of nine approved in Alabama to receive donations.



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