Wisconsin Looks at K-12 Tax Deductions: One Better for Colorado?

Governing magazine reports today that Wisconsin wants to join the cadre of states that offer private school tax deductions:

Last week, the Wisconsin legislature’s Joint Finance Committee approved new tax deductions for families that put their kids in private school as part of its 2013-2015 budget. The plan allows for families to deduct up to $4,000 for every student in kindergarten through eighth grade and up to $10,000 for every high school student.

According to the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, Wisconsin is already surrounded by states that offer individual families tax deductions or credits for private tuition and/or other educational expenses. The short list of seven states includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota.

While this is a fine approach, and I certainly wish Wisconsin well, Colorado would do even better to pursue a scholarship tax credit program. This proposal, something that even more states have adopted, provides a benefit not directly to families but to taxpayers who donate to scholarship organizations that help low- and middle-income students attend private schools. And the benefit for a credit is bigger than for a deduction.

Check out the short video for a better explanation. Or just go straight to the new website Colorado Kids Win to find all the resources you need. As scholarship tax credit programs help more and more students, and save expenses by the state, they also grow in popularity. How do you like that?

If adopting such a program means we can outdo Wisconsin, so much the better!