January 30, 2003

Arizona Legislature Tables Tax Credit for Homeschoolers

We informed you on January 27, 2003, of House Bill 2260, which would provide a $1500 tax credit for parents who operate a homeschool in Arizona. We urged you to contact your own legislators to ask them to support homeschool tax credits. In light of Arizona's current budget situation, homeschool leaders in the state have decided that now is not the best time to call for this tax relief. While a homeschool tax credit would save Arizona money in the long run, we do not want to put legislators who support homeschooling in the difficult position of voting for something that would appear to make the budget problems worse.

According to her staff, Representative Karen Johnson went to the House Education Committee Chairman on January 28, 2003 to request that her bill not be heard this year. We appreciate Representative Johnson's eagerness to help homeschoolers and willingness to put her own agenda on hold in order achieve larger goals.

The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld a scholarship tax credit for private schools, which allows taxpayers to donate up to five hundred dollars of their own money to a scholarship fund that pays tuition or other expenses at a private school. Despite challenges by the teachers union and other enemies of school choice, the Arizona Supreme Court upheld the tax credit as a means of encouraging educational freedom. Unfortunately, Arizona's scholarship tax credit does not allow families to donate money to help homeschoolers. Thus, some form of tax relief for homeschool families is needed.

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