Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organizations, through its Institute for Public Affairs, welcomed a provision of the federal budget proposed by President Bush that would establish an education tax credit for up to $2500 in education-related expenses.
According to the proposal, families whose children have been enrolled in failing public schools could receive this federal tax credit to pay for a wide range of education expenses that they might use to afford their children better educational opportunities. The eligible expenses include tutoring services, computers and other school supplies, non-public school tuition and related transportation costs. The tax credit would be refundable so that low-income families could receive this benefit as well.
Nathan Diament, director of the Union’s Institute, who has advocated for education tax credits with Administration officials and members of congress over the course of the past year, issued the following statement in reaction to the President’s proposal:
The education tax credit proposed in the President’s budget is an important step forward in affording educational opportunity and equity to all American children. More than 25 years ago, the United States Supreme Court held that education expense tax deductions (and, by implication, credits) offered across the board to all families with school-age children may constitutionally cover parochial school expenses as well. The Orthodox Jewish community has long believed that education tax credits are an excellent means to support parents in their quest to provide their children with their chosen educational opportunities. The UOJCA hopes that the President’s proposal is the beginning of a new discussion over these kinds of policies which will bring greater resources and equity to America’s public and non-public school families.