Homeschoolers Debate Federal Involvement in Cruz Tax Bill Amendment

Dec 10, 2017 by

Homeschoolers in the United States are debating whether an amendment to the GOP tax reform bill – that would expand 529 College Savings Plans to allow use of tax-exempt funds to pay for homeschooling expenses – will put homeschoolers at risk of federal oversight.

The Senate’s tax reform bill includes an amendment offered by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz that would expand 529 College Savings Plans to include K-12 elementary and secondary tuition for public, private, religious, and homeschools.

For homeschooling families, the amendment would allow use of their tax-exempt funds to pay for homeschooling expenses.

“It is the most far-reaching federal school choice legislation ever passed,” said Cruz Wednesday on Fox News, explaining:

What it does, is it takes 529 College Savings Plans, which many, many people have. They let you save in a tax-advantaged way for college expenses and are immensely popular. Parents, grandparents can save so that kids can go to college. My amendment expands 529s so now you can not only save to go to college, you can also spend from your 529 plan on K-12 education expenses for public schools, for private schools, for religious schools, for homeschooling. Up to $10,000 a year, you can save in a tax-advantaged plan and spend $10,000 per child. You are in charge of your kid’s education.

The bill was crafted with the help of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which says it “strongly opposes any federal funds to homeschoolers.”

“We have vigorously opposed past attempts to give federal money to homeschool families, and will continue to do so,” HSLDA asserts.

However, not all homeschoolers are on board with the amendment, and fear it will open up homeschooling families to federal oversight.

Attorney Deborah Stevenson, founder of National Home Education Legal Defense (NHELD), says Cruz’s amendment, though perhaps intended to be helpful to parents, is unconstitutional, and actually places homeschooling parents in jeopardy of being subject to the federal government’s intrusion.

“Mark my words, giving the IRS authority over whether the parents’ homeschool ‘qualifies’ for a ‘tax break’ is not going to bode well for parents,” Stevenson said in an article she wrote about the issue and sent to Breitbart News.

Source: Homeschoolers Debate Federal Involvement in Cruz Tax Bill Amendment – Breitbart

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