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Some home-schoolers don't like proposed NC tax credit

Posted March 25, 2013

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— Proposed legislation that would provide North Carolina families a tax credit of $2,500 a year for each child they home-school is getting mixed reviews.

House Bill 144 faces at least three committee hearings before it can even be heard on the House floor, but some home-schoolers already say they're not interested in getting the money from the state.

"Most of us know that, along with government money, comes government regulation," said Nikki Esquivel, who has taught her children for 15 years.

"Most of us in the home-schooling world have the 'if it's not broke, don't fix it' mentality," Esquivel said.

Home school generic Home-schoolers fear more state regulation

Bill co-sponsor Rep. Chris Malone, R-Wake, said families don't need to worry about added state oversight being tied to the tax credit.

A former Wake County Board of Education member, Malone said he backs the bill to even the playing field a bit for home-school families.

"Home-schoolers, they don't get all the things and all the flexibility that we do here at the regular schools," he said, adding that more research needs to be done on the proposal.

Yevonne Brannon, chairwoman of education watchdog group Great Schools in Wake, said the estimated $200 million a year that would be paid out in tax credits would take away from public school funding.

"Any monies that take money away from the public school setting is a concern," Brannon said.

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  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Apr 4, 11:17 a.m.

    "Another potential problem with this proposal is that we will have families that think this is a reason to home-school their children."

    So that means that either 1) one of the parents is already at home all day, available to take on home schooling or 2) one of the parents will have to quit their job to stay home and school the kids. How many families out there are going to sacrifice one person's annual salary just to get a $2,500 tax credit?

  • lmacyfry Apr 2, 7:50 p.m.

    To even raise the issue of taking away from public school funds is ridiculous. If all of the current homeschoolers in Wake county were to enroll on public schools, the system would be crippled. It is not about reducing taxes either. All homeschoolers would continue to pay their taxes like everyone else, so arguing that it would detract from tax revenues is irrelevant. This bill is about helping parents provide a quality education by offsetting educational costs. True that homeschooling is a choice but it is just as crucial to providing an educated and productive populace/ citizenry as monies provided to public school, magnet schools and charter schools. I do believe tax credit should be extended for private school admission as well.

  • marathonk Mar 28, 4:52 p.m.

    As a democracy, we all pay taxes to provide for public education, transportation infrastructure, police, judicial system, state and national parks,etc. It's our responsibility as a citizen of a county, state, and country. If you decide to opt out, it should be on your own dime. As someone who doesn't have children and has been paying income and property taxes for over 30 years, I see it as my civic contribution to having an educated populace.

  • gman9932 Mar 26, 3:52 p.m.

    I have my child in private school which is considered home-school and would love to get a tax credit. It would be nice to have a little help. We are working class people that have to budget to make the payments. 2500 is not a quarter of what we pay but it is worth every penny. It is a choice we made to keep or child out of government school and glad we did. I have always thought we should get some tax credit while she is not at public school.

  • goldenosprey Mar 26, 3:00 p.m.

    This is just another artifice by which the republican party tries to destroy public education. By robbing the public schoolkids whose parent(s) must work for a living.

    Those of you who think you are entitled to checks because you don't have a kid in public school, how would you like to live somewhere all the kids are dumb and all the young adults are ignorant? You won't like it.

  • Smilepal Mar 26, 1:48 p.m.

    I have homeschooled for over nine years and I welcome a tax deduction from the state. I feel that parents of students in private schools should also receive this deduction. I too benefited from the public school facility for thirteen years of my life and I am greatful for the education, free bus rides, and yes,free lunches. Without which a public school education would have been nearly impossible for me to receive. If the bill passes, I fill that the funds to support such deductions should be allocated from area's other than public school funding. In regards to worries that if this deduction should pass we will have more intrusion from the state for home schooling parents, that is to be seen. With or without a deduction the state can decide to approve tighter restrictions on homeschoolers. Yes, the idea of deductions may tempt some to try homeschoolers. For this reason, a little oversite is needed. Home schooling is not for the faint of heart. Education is important!

  • Nancy Mar 26, 1:40 p.m.

    'And yes, any time a special interest gets a tax deduction that nobody else can take, it is a give-a-away. Somebody else is getting stuck with the tax bill."

    A student costs more than $8K annually to educate (probably closer to $9K currently in our state), a tax credit of $2.5K hardly creates a burden on the schools or other taxpayers. In fact, it's a net gain for school budgets - student not present but taxes still collected well beyond what it costs to educate them in the public school system.

  • tayled Mar 26, 1:20 p.m.

    Bad idea from the get go. With the state looking to close tax loopholes, this flies in the face of that effort. Not only that, with people being the way they are these days, I can see someone pulling their child out of public school just to get the tax credit and then do the barest minimum the state requires, much to the detriment of the child. Sad, but our society is just that way now.

  • happymom Mar 26, 1:07 p.m.

    From the article... "Home-schoolers, they don't get all the things and all the flexibility that we do here at the regular schools."

    Huh? I would think home schoolers get more flexibility, not less.

  • bill0 Mar 26, 1:02 p.m.

    "Uhhhh, might want to learn about how non-refundable tax credits work. No one is giving them money. They would be reducing their own tax liability for income taxes they would have to pay. "

    Uhhh you might want to review the tax code to see that children are already deductions.

    And yes, any time a special interest gets a tax deduction that nobody else can take, it is a give-a-away. Somebody else is getting stuck with the tax bill.

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