Oklahoma to Offer School Choice Tax Credits For Private and Homeschooling Expenses Starting in January

Mike Seals - August 11, 2023 6:35 am

Students are back in the classroom, and soon enough, parents will have a financial option to move them elsewhere.

School choice tax credits are available starting in January, and parents are already wondering what they can expect.

In a controversial vote, this last legislative session Oklahoma lawmakers passed a bill permitting public funds to go towards private and homeschool education.

For the spring school semester, families can claim approved education expenses on their tax returns, a program the State Superintendent is looking forward to.

“It’s exciting for the state. Parents will have more options and they will have more power in their kids education than ever before in Oklahoma,” State Supt. Ryan Walters said.

The School Choice Tax Credit program is managed by the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

“My administration has been in conversations with the Tax Commission to give them any kind of guidance, any kind of assistance they need,” Supt. Walters said. “I’m fully confident in that, and we’re going to make sure that everything’s ready to go.”

According to the law, eligible students include those who are enrolled in and attend a private school accredited by the State Board of Education or another accrediting association.

Students educated by other means, i.e. homeschool, are also included.

Private school students can receive between $5,000-$7,500 based off a family’s household income.

Families that homeschool their kids can apply for $1,000 per student.

There’s a whole list of expenses that qualify, including tuition, tutoring, textbooks and curriculum.

Parents have to keep their receipts for proof of expenses.

“It’s a top priority for us to make it as easy as possible for parents to navigate,” Supt. Walters said.

This isn’t an unlimited dollar amount. There’s a cap on the total tax credits the state can give out.

For tax year 2024, it’s $150M. The next year it’s $200M. The year after that it’s $250M.

The Tax Commission doesn’t have guidance yet on how this will be implemented, and how they’ll ensure accountability of taxpayer dollars.

They did assure FOX25 they’ll have a list of FAQ’s on their website by August 15th.

 

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