WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) cosponsored the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act (S. 634), legislation that would expand elementary, secondary, and vocational education opportunities for students by providing a federal tax credit to encourage individuals and businesses to donate to nonprofit scholarship funds.
“Promoting education at every level is necessary for a healthy American economy,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Incentivizing donations to scholarship organizations is a no-brainer – it will increase education opportunities for students and empower states to make their own education decisions.”
Key provisions of the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act:
- Optional State Participation: Important to prevent extending federal control over education.
- State Directed: States maintain the authority to create a program that works for them – which students are eligible for the scholarship credit, what constitutes eligible educational expenses and educational providers, and more.
- Encourages Workplace Training Education: There is more than one pathway to success.Workers need new skills to compete. In addition to elementary and secondary education scholarships, this bill allows for scholarships related to career and technical education, apprenticeships, certifications, and other forms of workforce training for postsecondary students.
- Prohibits Federal Control of Education: Clarifies that nothing in this act shall be construed to allow or encourage any increased regulation or control over any aspect of a participating educational provider, scholarship granting organization, or workforce training organization. This allows all education providers to be able to participate, without fear of federal control.
- Helps Our Most Vulnerable Students: Many low- and middle-income students cannot afford tuition and educational expenses themselves, or do not have the means to pay for the workforce training needed to secure a stable, high-paying job. This tax credit will provide scholarships for these students.
“There is no greater form of local control in education than directly empowering families to choose the best K-12 educational option for their children,” said American Federation for Children President John Schilling.“The Education Freedom Scholarships bill is a major step forward in empowering families with greater educational choice and ultimately greater economic benefit for students.”