Bigger Private School Tuition Tax Break Now Available to Louisiana Families

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Louisiana families will now be able to claim a higher private school tuition tax break. Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed into law legislation (HB 32) that increases the private school tuition tax break from $5,000 to $6,000 per student per year.

Increased Private School Tuition Tax Break For Families

House Bill 32, sponsored by Rep. Laurie Schlegel, allows eligible families to deduct up to $6,000 toward tuition and fees from their total taxable income. It is the first time this private school tuition credit has been increased since its creation in 2008. The increased credit will be effective in 2024.

Eligible households can also use the tax break for educational expenses, such as toward the cost of textbooks, public school fees and lesson plans for home-schooled children.

Currently, the private school tuition tax break costs the state about $22 million annually. Now, after the increase, the tax break will cost about $24.2 million, according to the bill’s fiscal note.

Also, as per the fiscal note, the majority of deductions are for private school tuition, while it averages below $100 per claim for home-school and public-school children.

It must be noted that Louisiana already offers a dollar-for-dollar tax credit to individuals and corporations that give money to school tuition organizations (STOs). These STOs provide private school vouchers to low-income families, but only 1% of eligible students participate in the program.

Iowa Private-School Funds: Applications Exceed Estimates

In separate news, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that more than double the number of expected students applied for Iowa’s Education Savings Account (ESA) program. The governor signed the program into law earlier this year.

According to the governor’s office, over 29,000 students applied for the program, while more than 17,500 have been approved. Initially, the state estimated that about 14,000 students would be approved for the first year of the program. The state will have until July 31 to approve or reject the remaining applications.

“The tremendous response from Iowa families demonstrates there’s both a need and a strong desire for school choice in our state,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement.

Lawmakers have approved $107.4 million to fund the program in its first year. However, the cost is already set to exceed that if every approved application remains approved. In its present form, the program is estimated to cost the state about $133.5 million.

The exact cost of the program, however, will only be known once the approved students are accepted to attend private school. According to the governor’s office, the final number on the cost and the number of students won’t be available until October.

Further, the governor’s office informs that about 9,000 open seats are available in accredited private schools. This means that more ESA applications could be accepted than the available seats.

In case a student is approved for an ESA program but doesn’t attend private school, their account will be closed for that school year. Also, the allotted funds will return to the state’s general fund.