On May 3, the Iowa Senate passed the "standings" appropriations bill that included an increase for the School Tuition Organization (STO) tax credits from $7.5 million to $10 million starting in calendar year 2012. This was tied to an “allowance growth” increase for public schools.
The Iowa House, however, has written its own version of the bill and did not include the increase in their version. In 2010, Iowa’s school tuition organizations used up all $7.5 million in tax credits and has demand for more.
STOs raise money to give out in scholarships to lower-income students who wish to attend an accredited private school in Iowa. Those who give to a School Tuition Organization scholarship fund receive a 65 percent Iowa tax credit on the donation.
These tax credits are not an appropriation. They save the state money because current and new students to Iowa’s private schools do not draw down state school aid dollars. The program also goes a long way in respecting Iowa parents’ right to direct the education of their children by choosing the educational environment that best meets their child’s needs.
There has been great bipartisan support for the STO tax credits over the years. It’s not too late for House Republican leadership to add the increase back into the standings bill. Please send a message to your Representative asking him or her to increase the school tuition organization tax credit to $10 million.
CLICK HEREto send an email to your Representative!
Thank you for your help! We can’t get this done without HUGE grassroots support from you!
Eric has more than sixteen years’ experience in state government and nonprofit organizations including the roles of Development Director at Iowa Christian Academy and Des Moines radio station Q99.5 KZZQ/Pulse 99.5. Eric has also worked in Governor Terry Branstad’s office during his fourth term and in the Division of Criminal Investigation. Eric ran for Iowa State House in 2004.Eric serves as a Curriculum Committee Member at the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, is President of Iowa Advocates for Choice in Education, and is Chair of the Iowa Educational Opportunities PAC. He is a thinker, hunter, hiker, backpacker, movie watcher, traveler, soccer-lover/player, and music fanatic with a predilection for theatre and art; especially photography. His two children keep him and his wife very busy and very grateful.
Eric also can be found on Twitter.
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