NO CHILD’S POTENTIAL SHOULD BE LIMITED
Parents want the best education for their children. Whether a child lives in a rural or urban district, one thing is clear: the quality of education should be equal.
The Elevate Oklahoma’s Kids coalition values quality education and supports increasing the tax credit cap on donations to scholarship granting organizations (SGOs) and education improvement grant organizations (EIGOs) — because all Oklahoma children deserve to live up to their potential. SB 407 is about helping all kids at all schools throughout the state, not just those born into certain circumstances.
HOW IT WORKS
SGOs and EIGOs must be registered as 501(c)(3) organizations. SGOs provide scholarships to accredited schools for Oklahoma families in financial need. EIGOs directly support innovative science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) programs in rural and certain suburban public schools, ensuring smaller districts have they need support to enrich students’ learning experience.
SGOs and EIGOs are required to report on their activities every four years and maintain customary annual tax reporting required of all organizations.
The Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act allows individuals, couples and businesses to receive a tax credit for contributions made to SGOs and EIGOs. Donors are eligible for state income tax credits of up to 75% of the donated amount.
However, when donors meet the legislative-enacted tax credit cap, their available credits are reduced and the remaining unused credits are suspended until the following tax year. Increasing the cap through SB 407 will encourage more donations, in turn helping more kids at more schools.
All children deserve the best education, no matter their learning style or economic status. Supporting scholarship and grant programs gets the state closer to ensuring all students at all schools have what they need to succeed.
According to a 2018 fiscal impact study by two university economists, Oklahoma’s state budget saves $1.51 for every $1 of tax credit issued to donors under this program. Saving the state money while helping thousands of lower-income families afford the school which best suits their kids’ educational needs just makes cents.