Using Tax Credits to Privately Fund Education Scholarships for Low-Income Students

From the State Capitol: We talk with Lennie Jarratt, of the Heartland Institute, and hear how the use of tax credits applied to privately funded education scholarships, could offer the opportunity for low-income students to attend a school of their choice.

Unlike the debate over school vouchers, which uses taxpayer funds to send students to schools other than the one they would normally attend, the concept of the tax-credit scholarships, is to set up a fund where private donations are made to the education scholarship foundation, and those funds could then be applied for by a low-income student to cover the cost of going to a private, or public school.

Because these scholarship funds are from private donations, and NOT using money that goes to the local public schools, proponents of the tax-credit scholarships say these do not run into constitutional issues, that sometimes result in the use of school vouchers.

By using a tax credit, the individual donor can deduct 100% of their donation from their taxes, as compared to a tax deduction, which only saves the percent of taxes that a person pays on their income.