On Friday, State Representative Jim Van Engelenhoven of Pella supported an amendment to a Senate bill that would have cut approximately $800,000 from the School Tuition Organization Tax Credit program. The program helps private schools raise money for scholarships to children in low-income families. To qualify for a scholarship, students must come from families that earn less than three times the federal poverty level.
“All students deserve the very best education and to have the choice to choose what school they attend, regardless of income,” said Van Engelenhoven. “This tax credit is vital to numerous children across the state.”
In 2009, over 9,600 low income students received scholarships from a School Tuition Organization. Currently, there are 12 School Tuition Organizations with more than 160 schools participating.
The amendment was adopted and the bill – which now includes $7.5 million in tax credits – will be sent to the Senate for consideration.