Today, the Orthodox Union (Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization commended the Indiana Legislature and Governor Mitch Daniels for enacting a $2.5 million corporate and personal education tax credit. The program like those in several other states, including Arizona, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, provides a 50 percent tax credit for donations to scholarship programs that help lower income students attend private school.
In states with similar programs, Jewish day schools as well as other private schools have raised millions of dollars in new funds for education, without taking any funds from public school budgets. Some of the programs also allow public schools to raise funds as well. Education tax credit and tax deduction programs have been repeatedly ruled constitutional by numerous state courts and by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Howie Beigelman, OU Deputy Director of Public Policy stated:
“This bold move is good news for schools and families in Indiana and signals other states that tax credits are both politically feasible and good public policy. While many states cut funding to nonpublic schools this year, exacerbating an already difficult financial situation, this tax credit program is a better, proven way to help schools and families. We commend the Legislature and Governor Daniels for prioritizing education for all.”
Besides Indiana, tax credit programs were proposed this year in California, Connecticut, Maryland and South Carolina.