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Congressional Bill Would Offer Tax Credits for donations to Scholarship Funds

A bill filed in Congress last week would provide tax credits for individuals who donate to non-profit scholarship funds.

The Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, which would enact the tax credit provisions in hopes of encouraging individuals and businesses to donate to nonprofit scholarship funds, already has the backing of two Georgia Congressmen.

Reps. Rick Allen (GA-12) and Jody Hice (GA-10) signed onto the bill as co-sponsors.

The measure is in response to the increasing support for school choice options that are stymied by students waiting on private school scholarship program wait lists.

The Education Freedom Scholarships (EFS) proposal creates a $5 billion annual federal tax credit for businesses and individuals who voluntarily donate to scholarship granting organizations (SGOs). Those SGOs provide scholarships to empower families to choose the right education option for their elementary and secondary students, which may be an independent or faith-based private school or a home education. States, not the Federal Government, identify SGOs and determine how to structure scholarship programs, including eligible students, education providers, and education expenses. Religious discrimination would be prohibited.

“Every student, regardless of zip code or family resources, deserves a quality education and the chance to achieve the American Dream. The Education Freedom Scholarships & Opportunity Act will help families send their child to a school of their choice by creating a tax credit to encourage individuals and businesses to donate to nonprofit scholarship funds and invest in our next generation. This is a common-sense way to help some of our most vulnerable students who, without a scholarship, may be unable to afford tuition and other education expenses,” Rep. Rick Allen. said in a statement about the bill.

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, who also serves as the Republican Leader of the Committee on Education and Labor, endorsed the bill as well, saying:

“A high-quality education can be the path out of poverty for millions. School choice empowers families to make the best educational choice for their children instead of being limited by circumstances out of their control like being trapped in low-performing schools. I am pleased to join Reps. Owens and Allen in supporting The Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, which will expand access to educational opportunities for students.”

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced the companion bill in the Senate.

The full list of cosponsors in the House include:
Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC-05), Rep. Rick Allen (GA-12), Rep. Debbie Lesko (AZ-08), Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL-04), Rep. Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Rep. Bill Posey (FL-08), Rep. Daniel Webster (FL-11), Rep. Jody Hice (GA-10), Rep. James Baird (IN-04), Rep. Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Rep. John Moolenaar (MI-04), Rep. Michael Guest (MS-03), Rep. Dan Bishop (NC-09), Rep. Ted Budd (NC-13), Rep. Steve Chabot (OH-01), Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-04), Rep. Robert Latta (OH-05), Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15), Rep. Scott Perry (PA-10), Rep. Fred Keller (PA-12), Rep. John Joyce (PA-13), Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02), Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-05), Rep. Tom Rice (SC-07), Rep. Scott DesJarlais (TN-04), Rep. Ronny Jackson (TX-13), Rep. Randy Weber (TX-14), Rep. Ben Cline (VA-06), and Rep. Mike Gallagher (WI-08)

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Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of The Georgia Virtue. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta, a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast,' and she has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers." Sign up for her weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gzYAZT

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