Committee Passes Education Tax Credits
Special Report - April 28, 2011
On Tuesday, the House Education Committee passed HB 344Tax Credits for Children with Disabilities, a bill that would provide the parents of disabled students with a tax credit, should those parents decide that their child would be better served in a nonpublic or tuition-based public school. The bill would allow eligible individuals to receive a tax credit of up to $3,000 per semester to offset the cost of tuition, special education, or related services expenses of students with special needs. Homeschooling families able to provide the state with documented expenses would also be eligible for the credit.
To be eligible for the tax credit, an evaluation by school officials, while the student was enrolled in and attending a public school, would have to verify that the child does have special needs to the extent that they require an “Individualized Education Program (IEP).” For initial eligibility, students would also be required to have been “enrolled in and attended a public school for at least the two preceding semesters.”
Although the bill has bipartisan support with members of both parties signed on as sponsors, there was some resistance heard during committee, as some raised concerns that this bill would divert resources away from the public school system in favor of private schools, charter schools, or home schooling. Primary bill sponsor Representative Paul “Skip” Stam (R-Wake) countered that point, saying that the bill would save the state and local counties an estimated 10 million dollars per year.
The bill passed in the House Education Committee by a vote of 26-17 on April 26. The bill now goes to House Finance for consideration.
Special Needs Tax Credit Bill Filed - March 22, 2011
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