Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability

Opportunity Scholarships and Ed Tax Credits


A New Approach to Educational Equity in New York: Suing for School-Choice Scholarships to Free Students from Failing Schools
February 1, 2013
The failure of New York’s large urban school districts to significantly improve the academic outcomes of low-income and minority students, coupled with the willingness of the state courts to hear cases examining New York’s constitutional guarantee to a “sound, basic education,” provide a prime opportunity for lawsuits seeking court-ordered school-choice scholarships in Buffalo and Rochester.

A Summary of Active School Choice Legislation in the U.S
April 21, 2011
Several state legislatures across the country are set to expand school choice opportunities by adopting policies that provide publicly-funded scholarships to allow students to attend private schools and education tax credit programs for individuals and businesses that fund private school tuition.  This report provides a summary and the current status of each proposal, as well as a “watch list” of bills in states where approval does not appear to be imminent.

An Education Tax Credit Plan for New York: Creating New Education Options for Parents (pdf)
February 2006
The Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability’s report on education tax credits proposed in New York finds that an education tax credit would dramatically improve the state’s educational landscape by increasing high-quality options available to low- and middle-income families.  The report compares the provisions of education tax credit proposals in New York to those in six other states and identifies the design features of strong education tax credit policies, which include: establishing a high value for the credit; allowing anyone (not just parents) to claim the credit; broadly defining educational expenses eligible to be claimed against the credit; and, allowing business to qualify for credits.

Overview of Education Tax Credit Laws in Other States (pdf)
July 30, 2010
Education tax credits are on the books in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Eight of these ten states adopted tax credit plans since 1998 and Minnesota’s education tax benefits have been available for more than 50 years.

Summary of Education Tax Break Legislation in New York (2009-2010 Legislative Session)
July 30, 2010
The New York State legislature has four pending pieces of education tax break legislation, the most significant of which is a Senate bill that would provide businesses with a tax credit of up to $250 for donations to charitable scholarship organizations, as well as district, charter, and private schools and nonprofits founded to support local schools.

Summary of Education Tax Break Legislation in New York (2007-2008 Legislative Session)
November 6, 2008
During the 2007-2007 legislative session, New York had four bills pending that would have provided education tax benefits to families and business.  The most significant proposal would have established an income tax credit of up to $3,500 per student for educational expenses, including tuition, tutoring, academic camps, and textbooks and learning materials.

Quotations on Education Tax Credits
January 31, 2007
A coalition of New York leaders in government, business, education, and religious organizations support education tax credits.

Summary of Gov. Spitzer’s Proposed Education Tax Benefit Legislation
January 31, 2007
In his 2007-08 executive budget, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer proposed a tax deduction of up to $1,000 per eligible dependent for education expenses, including tuition for public or private (including religious) schools in New York State.  The State Legislature failed to include the proposal in the adopted state budget.

Empire State Child Tax Credit
July 19, 2006
In April 2006, the New York State Legislature amended the education tax credit (ETC) originally proposed by Governor George Pataki to remove any provisions that tied the credit to educational expenses and effectively gutting the bill of its school-choice merits.  Instead, the Legislature replaced the true ETC with a universal child tax credit known as the “Empire State Child Credit.”

Summary of Education Tax Break Legislation in New York (2005-2006 Legislative Session)
March 2, 2006
The New York legislature had five bills pending during the 2005-2006 legislative session that would have created education tax benefits, including the first education tax credit proposed by a New York governor.

Summary of Gov. Pataki’s Proposed Education Tax Credit Legislation
January 20, 2006
New York Gov. George Pataki’s 2006-07 executive budget proposed allowing individuals to claim a refundable taxable credit of up to $500 per eligible dependent for qualifying educational expenses. The proposal would make all school options, including private school, become more affordable to parents, and children in lower-income families can receive tutoring and participate in extra learning activities without the typical accompanying financial burdens.