Federal Legislation
May 15, 2002

H.R. 3685-Education, Achievement, and Opportunity Act

Action Requested:
None. HSLDA opposes this bill, see below.

Background:
Official purpose: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a refundable credit against income tax for educational expenses incurred for each qualifying child of the taxpayer in attending public or private elementary or secondary school.

Introduced February 5, 2002 by Rep. Christopher Smith (R - NJ 4th)
Cosponsors

Status:
2/5/2002: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
Bill Summary and Status

HSLDA's Position:
* HSLDA is extremely sensitive to the legal language ultimately chosen in a bill. If a bill is worded poorly, there exists a great danger that an opportunity for a federal regulation to be written which could define or regulate home education beyond current law. HSLDA works with the relevant committees to ensure that final language will not pose a significant risk. Accordingly, while HSLDA supports many bills in concept, we reserve the right to withdraw or initiate support based on the actual legislative language chosen as the bill moves through its various stages.

HSLDA opposes H.R. 3685. Traditionally HSLDA supports legislation that will establish credits against income tax for education expenses. However specific language in H.R. 3685 requires home schools to take achievement tests in order to qualify for the tax credits. HSLDA opposes any legislation that will add "government strings" to such benefits, especially where the federal legislation would go beyond state laws. Home schools that are in compliance with their state law should not be required to take additional steps to qualify for tax credits.

 Other Resources

H.R. 3685 (pdf)