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Bill that would expand scholarship opportunities for AZ foster kids advances

A bill that would expand scholarship opportunities for Arizona's foster care children is moving forward at the state Capitol.

Certified School Tuition Organizations (STOs) receive income tax credit funds to give out scholarships for students to attend private schools in the state.

To qualify for those, students must attend a public school full-time for at least 90 days before transferring to a private institution. 

At a meeting of the Senate Education Committee this week, several foster parents testified their kids would never make it that far due to trauma-related behavioral issues or because they’re relocated.

Republican Rep. Barbara Parker is sponsoring HB 2095 which would waive that 90-day requirement.

"I feel like it's such a win-win for the Governor and both sides of the aisle to come together to help this very small population," Parker said. "It costs nothing."

Parker added that the state already waives the requirement for children in military families.

The committee advanced the bill Wednesday. It now heads to the Senate floor.

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Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.