A program in place for several years has given low-income Oklahoma students the opportunity to attend private schools instead of struggling in their assigned public school. Legislators can widen that net by approving a bill under consideration.
The Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act provides tax credits to businesses and individuals who donate to groups that give private school scholarships. The kids who benefit from the scholarships must come from families with no more than 300 percent of the income required to qualify for free and reduced-price lunches, have a learning disability, or live in a school district the state has said is “in need of improvement.”
Scholarship donors get a tax credit equal to 50 percent of one-time donations and 75 percent for multi-year donations. The credits are capped at $100,000 for qualified business donors, $2,000 for taxpayers filing jointly and $1,000 for individual tax filers. Tax credit payouts are capped at $5 million annually, with $3.5 million for donations to scholarship groups and the remainder for donations to public school grant organizations.