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Minnesota

May 19, 2003

Senate File 761: Ties tax deductions to private school controls

Sponsor:
Senator Ellen R. Anderson (DFL), District 66.

Summary:
A companion bill to HF 747, SF 761 attempts to use tax credits and deductions to prohibit private schools from discriminating on the basis of religion, previous disciplinary proceedings, etc.

Status:
March 10, 2003: Introduction and first reading. Referred to Education Committee.
05/19/2003 The 2003 regular session of the Minnesota Legislature adjourned on May 19, 2003. Thankfully, SF 761 is now dead.

Action Requested:
None.

Background:
Minnesota is one of the few states that provide any tax relief for homeschoolers, but, as HF 743/ SF 760 and HF 747/ SF 761 prove, this puts homeschool and private school families at risk of mean-spirited legislation. This attack on homeschool freedom requires the strongest possible response, whether or not your family has ever claimed these tax benefits.

The enemies of home education would like to use any tax breaks as a means of control over private education. For homeschoolers, this threat is not particularly severe. If parents want to claim the tiny amount of money that is available under current law, they can pay the price of taking the high school graduation test. For a traditional private school however, this change in the law has unacceptable consequences. If even one paying customer wants to claim a tax deduction, the entire school must adjust its curriculum to line up with the state's high school graduation requirements. The school must give up its freedom to choose its own students according to its own criteria. Few private schools can afford to turn away paying customers, so the state can force the majority of private school students to follow the new state requirements because a minority of private school families want these meager benefits.

Whether your family participates in this program or not, your voice is needed now. We urge all homeschoolers to work together to defend educational freedom today.

HSLDA's Position:
Oppose! This bill was a clear attempt to take over private education.

 Other Resources

3/19/2003 - Minnesota--Independence of Nonpublic Schools Threatened

Bill Text

Bill History