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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio calls for federal tax credit scholarships



Florida has its corporate tax credit scholarships, allowing poor children to help pay for private education. So why not the country as a whole?

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, proposed just that idea in a recent speech to the Jack Kemp Foundation:

"Our tax code should reward investment in education. If you invest in a business by buying a machine, you get a tax credit for the cost. If there is a tax credit for investing in equipment, shouldn’t there be a tax credit for investing in people?  

"Let’s provide tax encouragement to help parents pay for the school of their choice.  Let’s create a corporate federal tax credit to a qualifying, non-profit 501(c)(3) Education Scholarship Organization, so that students from low income families can receive a scholarship to pay for the cost of a private education of their parents’ choosing."

Rubio included these remarks in a talk about "middle class opportunity." He also called for empowering parents to have more choices about where to send their children to school:

"The public school system for millions of disadvantaged American children is a disaster. Many of these schools deny opportunity to those who need it most.  We need to allow charter schools and other innovative schools to flourish. The key to that is empowering parents. Parents should be the ultimate decision makers on where their children go to school. But poor and working class parents often have no choice about what schools their children can attend. All our parents should be able to send their children to the school of their choice. For parents with special needs children, the freedom to choose their kids’ school is especially important."

Florida has seen growth in all these areas. Other states are looking at similar programs. Are the ideas ripe for federal action?

[Last modified: Thursday, December 6, 2012 2:49pm]


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