OU Welcomes Introduction of Education Savings Account Legislation; Calls for Passage

Posted on March 19, 1999 In Press Releases

Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, through its Institute for Public Affairs, welcomed the recent introduction in both houses of congress of legislation that would create tax free Education Savings Accounts designed to help parents invest and save toward their children’s education. The legislation was introduced in the Senate last week by Senators Paul Coverdell (R-GA) and Robert Torricelli (D-NJ); in the House it was introduced by Representatives Kenny Hulsoff (R-MO) and Bill Lipinski (D-IL).

Education Savings Accounts would permit parents to invest up to $2000 in a tax free IRA account each year after the birth of a child. (Middle income taxpayers eligible for the $500 child tax credit could contribute up to $2500 annually.)

Parents could withdraw money invested in the IRA for use towards a broad range of primary, secondary or college education expenses including tuition, activity fees, supplies, tutoring or transportation costs. The legislation would permit parents to use these funds to further their children’s education at any school – public, private, sectarian or home school.

“We believe this legislation would provide meaningful support to parents in their struggle to provide the best education to their children,” said Nathan Diament, director of the Institute for Public Affairs. He continued: “America already has tax-free education savings accounts for college education expenses and we all realize that the early years of education are where the foundation for a better life is laid; therefore, we must support parents in their effort to provide the best K-12 education for their kids as they see fit – whether in public, private or parochial schools. We hope that the Congress will unite behind this effort to increase educational opportunity in our nation.