Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) this week introduced new legislation--the Education Achievement and Opportunity Act of 2022 (HR 9320)--to make quality education from kindergarten through high school more affordable by providing critical tax relief to parents of schoolchildren.
Smith's bill would provide a tax credit of up to $10,000 per child to pay tuition and fees for enrollment in Jewish, parochial, public, charter, private and religious schools. Up to $1,500 of the authorized assistance can be used for computers, educational software, books, tutoring, special needs services, transportation and academic testing services at any public or private school.
"Now more than ever, we must empower parents--the primary educators of children--with the ability to choose and afford the school system that will help their children grow and thrive," said Rep. Smith.
"This critical legislation will help ease the financial burden that parents face in securing a quality education for their kids and provide them with more flexibility to ensure they can make the best decision for their child's education," said Smith, who is also a cosponsor of the Educational Choice for Children Act (HR 8137).
Like Smith's bill, the Educational Choice for Children Act is aimed at expanding education freedom and opportunity to ensure parents can place their children in programs that are right for them. Specifically, HR 8137 would provide tax credits to individuals and businesses that donate funds for scholarships that families can use to cover expenses related to K-12 public and private education.
Similarly, the tax credit created by Smith's legislation would be available for parents with children attending public, charter, private or parochial schools through the end of high school.
"Our public school system was created to serve students," said Smith, "not the other way around. Parents should have the opportunity to enroll their kids in the educational setting that is most suited for their child's individual needs."
"Throughout our district and across our country, Catholic schools are closing because costs are climbing far too high, especially as we face record-high levels of inflation," said Smith. "This legislation will go a long way toward ensuring parents of all faiths can afford beneficial faith-based schooling options for their kids."
A parent earning less than $75,000 per year or a couple earning $150,000 jointly would be eligible for the full tax credit, which would begin to decrease by $50 for every $1,000 earned beyond the income threshold.