How Private School Tax Credits Work

Here’s how the Children’s Promise Act private school tax credits work:┬áLet’s say John owes the State of Mississippi $5,000 in taxes. If John writes a $2,500 check to his child’s private school, the state reduces his tax bill by that amount, and John pays only $2,500 to the state. The effect on the state budget – and on the state funding available for public schools – is exactly the same as if the state had made John pay all of his taxes but sent $2,500 in vouchers to the private school. Tax credits are the same as vouchers.

Note: Private schools need not enroll children in foster care to qualify for the maximum total tax credits in the Children’s Promise Act. The law is crafted to allow virtually any private school to qualify, requiring only that a school admit one child who meets one of these criteria (no minimum number of qualifying students is required): is a child in a foster care placement program, has a chronic illness or disability (asthma, diabetes, allergy, ADHD, etc.), or is economically disadvantaged. The law also does not require that the school provide any special services to students.

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