FIND SCHOOLS & AFTER-CARE
Education Options in the States: State Programs That Provide Financial Assistance for Attendance at Private Elementary or Secondary Schools
Revised February 2009
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Overview of State Programs

As of the end of calendar year 2008, 24 programs were in place in 14 states and the District of Columbia. See table 1.

Table 1. State Programs Providing Financial Assistance for Student Attendance at Private Elementary and Secondary Schools as of Dec. 31, 2008.

State Program Type Type of Program Year Signed Into Law
Arizona Tax Credits Tax credits for individuals for contributions to scholarship organizations 1997
Arizona Tax Credit Tax credits for corporations for contributions to scholarship organizations 2006
Arizona Scholarships Scholarships for students with disabilities 2006
Arizona Scholarships Scholarships for foster care children 2006
Florida Scholarships Scholarships for students in failing schoolsa 1999
Florida Scholarships Scholarships for students with disabilities 1999
Florida Tax Credits Tax credits for corporations for contributions to scholarship organizations 2001
Georgia Scholarships Scholarships for students with disabilities 2007
Georgia Tax Credits Tax credits for individuals and corporations for contributions to scholarship organizations 2008
Illinois Tax Credits Tax credits for parents for education expenses 1999
Iowa Tax Credits Tax credits for parents for education expenses 1987
Iowa Tax Credits Tax credits for individuals for contributions to School Tuition Organizations 2006
Louisiana Scholarships Scholarships for students from low-income families in New Orleans 2008
Louisiana Tax Deduction Tax deduction to individuals for tuition and qualified educational expenses 2008
Maine Tuition Assistance Scholarship-like tuition assistance for students in small towns and rural areas 1873
Minnesota Tax Credits and Tax Deductions Tax credits and tax deductions for parents for education expenses 1955/1997
Ohio Vouchers Vouchers for students in Cleveland 1995
Ohio Scholarships Scholarships for students in Cleveland 1995
Ohio Scholarships Scholarships for students with autism 2003
Ohio Scholarships Scholarships for students in underperforming schools 2006
Pennsylvania Tax Credits Tax credits for corporations for contributions to scholarship organizations 2001
Rhode Island Tax Credits Tax credits for corporations for contributions to scholarship organizations 2006
Utah Scholarships Scholarships for students with disabilities 2005
Utah Scholarships Scholarships for all studentsb 2007
Vermont Tuition Assistance Scholarship-like tuition assistance for students in small towns and rural areas 1869
Wisconsin Scholarships Scholarships for students from low-income families in Milwaukee 1990
District of Columbia Scholarships Scholarships for students from low-income familiesc 2004

As of the end of calendar year 2008, 13 programs provided scholarship or scholarship-like tuition assistance for students to attend private schools. See table 2.

a This program was terminated at the end of the 2005-06 school year.

b This program was not implemented because it was voted down in a statewide referendum in November 2007.

c This program is federally funded.

Sources: Officials and Web sites of state education agencies.

Table 2. Number of Participating Students and Average Amount of Assistance in Scholarship or Scholarship-like Tuition Assistance Programs by State, 2007-08 School Year

State Participating Students Average or Maximum
Amount of Assistance
Arizona: for students with disabilities 186 $8,238
Arizona: for displaced students 189 $3,945
Florida: for students with disabilities 19,852 $6,613
Georgia: for students with disabilities 908 $6,273
Louisiana: for low-income students in New Orleans n/aa n/ab
Maine: for students in small towns and rural areas 14,012 $8,039 c
Ohio: for students in Cleveland 6,272 $3,450d
Ohio: for students with autism 1,005 $15,500
Ohio: for students who attend low-performing schools 7,114 $5,300 e
Utah: for students with disabilities 545 $4,449
Vermont: for students in small towns and rural areas 2,459f $9,773g
Wisconsin: for students from low-income families in Milwaukee 18,882 $6,501
Washington, D.C.: for students from low-income families 1,933 $7,500

a The term "n/a" means that the data is not available. The program was not in effect in the 2007-08 school year. For the 2008-09 school year, as of Dec. 1, 2008, 726 scholarships were awarded.

b The term "n/a" means that the data is not available. The program was not in effect in the 2007-08 school year. For the 2008-09 school year, the first year of the program, the maximum scholarship amount is $7,138.

c Amount is the 2007-08 tuition rate for secondary schools in Maine.

d Maximum amount for students K-12.

e Maximum amount is for high school; for elementary school, the amount is $4,500.

f Data from the 2006-07 school year.

g This is the average secondary school scholarship for Vermont secondary schools. (The amounts for elementary school and grades 7-8 are different.)


Note: Data are for the 2007-08 school year, except as noted. Items bolded indicate the maximum scholarship amount.
For the purposes of this report, the term "states" includes the District of Columbia.

Sources: Officials and Web sites of state education agencies. See Acknowledgements (communication with state officials was via e-mail and telephone correspondence) and Appendix A.

As of the end of calendar year 2008, seven programs provided tax credits or tax deductions for individuals or corporations for contributions to scholarship organizations. See table 3.

Table 3. Scholarship Organizations and Scholarships Awarded via Tax Credit or Tax Deduction Programs for Individual or Corporate Contributions to Scholarship Organizations, 2007-08 School Year

State Scholarship Organizations Scholarships Awarded
Arizona: tax credits to individuals 56 27,153a
Arizona: tax credits to corporations 18 1,947b
Florida: tax credits to corporations 3 21,493
Georgia: tax credits n/ac n/ad
Iowa: tax credits to individuals 10 7,527
Pennsylvania: tax credits to corporations 329 48,803 e
Rhode Island: tax credits to corporations 3 282

a The data are from the 2007 calendar year. Individual Income Tax Credit for Donations to Private School Tuition Organizations: Reporting for 2007, Executive Summary, April 2008, page 3. Office of Economic Research and Analysis, Arizona Department of Revenue.

b The data are from the 2007 calendar year. Corporate Income Tax Credit for Contributions to School Tuition Organizations: Reporting for 2007, page 4. Office of Economic Research and Analysis, Arizona Department of Revenue.

c The term "n/a" means that the data is not available. Data do not exist for the 2006 taxable year because the Georgia tax credit (signed into law in 2008) was first implemented in the 2008 taxable year.

d The term "n/a" means that the data is not available. Data do not exist for the 2006 taxable year because the Georgia tax credit (signed into law in 2008) was first implemented in the 2008 taxable year.

e Data include pre-K students.


Sources: Officials and Web sites of state education and revenue agencies. See Acknowledgements (communication with state officials was via e-mail and telephone correspondence) and Appendix A.

As of the end of calendar year 2008, five programs provided tax credits or tax deductions for parents for education expenses. See table 4.

Table 4. Number of Claiming Taxpayers (Parents) and Average Amount of Claim in Tax Credit or Tax Deduction Programs for Education Expenses, 2006 Taxable Year

State Claiming Taxpayers Average Amount of Claim
Illinois: tax credits 224,431 $303
Iowa: tax credits 191,600 $79
Louisiana: tax deductions n/aa n/ab
Minnesota: tax credits 56,372 $265
Minnesota: tax deductions 210,371 $1,227

a The term "n/a" means that the data is not available. Data do not exist for the 2006 taxable year because the Louisiana tax deduction (signed into law in 2008) was first implemented in the 2008 taxable year.

b The term "n/a" means that the data is not available. Data do not exist for the 2006 taxable year because the Louisiana tax deduction (signed into law in 2008) was first implemented in the 2008 taxable year.


Note: Table 4 provides separate data for tax credits and tax deductions in Minnesota, but tax credits and tax deductions are treated as one tax program in this report.

Sources: Officials and Web sites of state education and revenue agencies. See Acknowledgements (communication with state officials was via e-mail and telephone correspondence) and Appendix A.


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Last Modified: 04/30/2009