Legislation would give home school families access to education tax deduction

Mother and child homework homeschool

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) recently introduced a bill that would put home school families on equal footing with public and private elementary and second education teachers, as far as the tax code is concerned.

The Home School Equity Act for Tax Relief would extend to all 50 states a tax credit that currently is available only to public and private school teachers and states where home school students are considered private school students. Cole said the tax credit could be applied to those materials that qualify as classroom expenses and help families endure the financial strain that can come with home schooling.

“Choosing to educate children at home is not an easy or inexpensive decision for parents,” Cole said. “It require hours of time teaching and planning, commitment by at least one parent to stay at home and thousands of dollars spent for educational supplies each year. As valuable contributors to our children’s academic future, it makes sense that home school families should receive the same tax credit already extended to public school teachers.”

Cole said the National Home Education Research Institute estimated more than 2 million students were home schooled in 2010, and that number continues to rise by approximately 2 to 8 percent each year. He said that the average home-schooled student performs better than the average public school student, and home school students typically score above average on the SAT and ACT college admission tests.

“In today’s society, there are numerous possibilities for receiving an education that prepares students for academic success and achievement,” Cole said. “While the majority of elementary and secondary students in the United States attend public or private schools, the popularity of home schooling continues to grow and has become a widely accepted and respected alternative.”

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