Federal Tax Credits Would Boost Educational Choice

Published December 1, 2000

Urging his colleagues to support federal tax credits for K-12 education, Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) noted Arizona has enjoyed a significant increase in resources available to both private and public education since state legislators there adopted education tax credits in 1997.

Since federal income tax liabilities are generally significantly greater than state income tax liabilities for most taxpayers, a federal tax credit would provide much greater leverage to enhance parental choice in K-12 education, Paul said.

“The Arizona experience is further proof that putting control of education resources into the hands of the American people through education tax credits is the best way to improve education,” Paul stated. “Tax credits allow parents and other concerned citizens to devote more of their resources to education, and allow the American people to work with educators to ensure that all children have the opportunity to receive a quality education that suits each child’s unique needs.”

Paul’s proposals are contained in two companion pieces of legislation: The Family Education Freedom Act, to provide families with more opportunity to make educational choices for their children; and The Education Improvement Tax Cut Act, to provide schools with more opportunity to offer educational choices to families.

The Family Education Freedom Act (HR 935) provides parents with an annual federal tax credit of up to $3,000 per child for expenses incurred in educating their children at a K-12 public, private, or home-based school.

The Education Improvement Tax Cut Act (HR 936) provides a tax credit of up to $3,000 for donations to K-12 public, private, religious, or home schools, in the form of scholarships, cash, or in-kind gifts.

Education, traditionally a local function and responsibility, has been increasingly centralized in the hands of federal bureaucrats, noted Paul. At the same time, parental control has been diminished.

“It is time for Washington to return control of the nation’s school system to the people who know best the needs of children–local communities and parents,” declared the Texas Congressman.

For more information . . .

The text of Congressman Ron Paul’s Family Education Freedom Act (HR 935) and Education Improvement Tax Cut Act (HR 936) is available on the Internet at the Library of Congress’ Thomas Web site, http://thomas.loc.gov/.