Federal Legislation
July 1, 2009

H.R. 1951—“Family Education Freedom Act of 2009”

Action Requested:
No action is requested at this time. HSLDA will continue to monitor this bill and will send out an action e-lert if the bill is scheduled for a hearing.

Summary:
The Family Education Freedom Act of 2009, if enacted, would allow homeschoolers to benefit from a tax credit to offset education costs.

Status:

4/2/2009Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means

Sponsor: Ron Paul (TX-14)

Cosponsors:

Bill Summary and Status H.R. 1951

HSLDA’s Position:
Support.

Talking Points:
The Family Education Freedom Act would give parents a per-child tax credit of up to $5,000 per student per year to be used for paying for tuition or other education related costs of elementary and secondary education. The bill states that the tax credit can be used for qualified educational expenses from a qualified educational institution, which includes a homeschool.

A federal tax credit reduces the amount of tax a taxpayer owes. For example, if $4,000 is owed in taxes, and the taxpayer has spent $500 on educational expenses, that taxpayer can use their educational expenses to reduce the amount owed in taxes. In this example the taxpayer would subtract $500 from the $4,000 owed in taxes and owe only $3,500 in taxes. Tax credits are not vouchers, because they merely allow a taxpayer to keep more of their money, and have no government regulation attached. There are currently no federal tax credits for homeschoolers; however, the Family Education Freedom Act would create one if passed by Congress.

HSLDA supports tax credits, so long as the language establishing the tax credit does not set additional burdens on homeschooling parents. This bill does not create a federal definition of homeschooling, so it would not result in any federal regulation on homeschoolers. Additionally, a family could choose whether or not to claim the credit on their taxes. HSLDA believes that tax credit legislation is beneficial to homeschooling parents because it helps them keep some of their hard earned money in order to better educate their children.