SB131 Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit Passes Senate

SB131 Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit Passes Senate

Richmond, VA – Today the Senate of Virginia passed SB131 ( Stanley/Obenshain) , which creates education improvement tax credits for private school scholarships for needy and at-risk students. “This bill is an historic beginning in changing the way we educate those who face the greatest academic challenges,” said the bill’s sponsor Senator William Stanley of Virginia’s 20th District.

He continued, “This bill will encourage local businesses and individuals to direct their hard-earned dollars to help provide for the educational needs of those who need it most in their own communities.  The provisions of this bill will give low-income and others dealing  with great challenges unique opportunities achieve in ways they could have never before imagined.

We have heard for quite a while from many that it takes a community to raise and educate a child, and paradoxically the burden has been placed on the state to do just that with tax payer dollars managed by a distant government agency.  This bill will initiate the real change needed to encourage investment by offering solutions tailored to solve specific problems as determined by those closest to the situation,” Stanley stated.

SB 131 allows for a tax credit of 65% for donations to approved non-government educational scholarship programs provided by nonprofit organizations across the Commonwealth. Lt. Governor Bill Bolling cast the tie-breaking vote that led to the bill’s passage, and it was supported by Governor McDonnell as part of his education reform package. “This will be a good partnership between government, private industry, and parents making critical decisions about the educational needs of their children, Stanley said, “because the investment we make in these children will help break the cycle of poverty.”

Stanley further stated “But this is just the beginning.  It has been said that the government that governs best governs least.  This legislation is based in this.  Let the government get out of the way, and allow people to deal with issues close to home.  Let individuals and businesses invest their money as they see fit to do the most good, and by doing so we allow communities to build their own future and provide the very best for those who are not in a position to do so for themselves.”

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