NEWS: Pike bill would open education options for low-income students
CONTACT: Ashley Wilson, Public Information Officer – (360) 786-7761
Pike bill would open education options for low-income students
Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, has introduced legislation to open up educational opportunities for Washington students by establishing educational tax credits to support low-income students.
House Bill 2063 would create a business and occupation (B&O) scholarship tax credit for donations to approved scholarship-granting charities which provide awards for private K-12 education in Washington. The scholarships created from these donations would only be available to students at or below 225 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
“We need to level the playing field for all students in Washington state. Wealthy families already have school choice by choosing to live in districts with high-performing schools or paying to send their children to private schools. Low-income families only have one choice: the local assigned school,” said Pike. “This bill is about empowering families to find the best educational environment for their students regardless of income.”
Twelve other states have created similar tax incentives as proposed in Pike's bill. In addition to opening educational opportunities there is the added bonus of cost savings for Washington. Each student receiving a scholarship to attend a private school would save the usual state portion of the basic education allocation of about $6,300 per pupil per year. This could equate to savings in the millions of dollars for the 2013-15 budget alone.
“This is a winning idea for students, parents and taxpayers in our state. I look forward to having more discussions like these about 'outside-the-box' ideas that can benefit everyone in our education system,” said Pike.
###Washington State House Republican Communications