What the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 Means for Homeschoolers
While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 brings some welcome changes, one group of people was left out in the cold. Homeschooling families will not benefit from the changes brought about by the 529 expansion amendment.
529 allows families to save their own money to pay for tuition and educational expenses. Traditionally, families could only use the savings account to pay for college-related expenses. The 529 expansion, as part of the tax reform, was proposed by Senator Ted Cruz. It expanded to include K-12 tuition for public, private, religious and home school students, rather than just college expenses.
While the Senate passed the tax reform bill as it was, Democrats in the House used a parliamentary procedure called the Byrd Rule to carve out homeschooling families, wrote William Estrada, Director of Federal Relations for the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) on their website.
Senator Cruz gave a blistering speech and called out democrats for failing to include homeschooling families from the expansion. Watch his defense of homeschooling families at the 6-minute, 10-second mark:
While the 529 college savings accounts may still be used by homeschooling students for their college tuition, only students at public, private or religious schools will be able to take advantage of the 529 to pay for K-12 expenses.
According to Estrada, HSLDA is working to “fix this discrimination against homeschoolers in 529 plans.” Senator Cruz along with Representative Luke Messer, R-Ind., have promised to introduce legislation to correct the discrimination. Representatives Jason Smith, R-Mo., Steve King, R-Iowa, and Karen Handel, R-Ga., have already introduced such legislation.