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Late Drama Leads Home Schooling Provision to Be Stripped From Tax Bill

By Andrew Ujifusa — December 19, 2017 1 min read
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In a late change to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, lawmakers agreed Tuesday night to strip out a provision giving a tax advantage to money saved for home schooling costs.

The tax bill agreed to by a group of House and Senate lawmakers last week would have allowed people to use money in 529 savings plans for elementary and secondary school expenses, including private school tuition and home schooling—right now, those accounts can only be used for postsecondary costs. The provision to include home schooling expenses was a successful amendment from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

The House passed the tax bill with those changes earlier on Tuesday. Later in the day, however, the Senate parliamentarian ruled that allowing 529 savings to be spent on home schooling violated Senate rules for the bill, the Associated Press reported. The Senate therefore passed the bill Tuesday without the tax-advantaged savings for home schooling costs paid for out of 529 plans , following a push by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who first highlighted the problem with the homeschooling provision.

This set up another vote to be held by the House on Wednesday on this updated version of the bill. However, the revised bill would still allow a change to 529 plans so that they can be used for other K-12 expenses. If the House passes the revised bill Wednesday, it will go to President Donald Trump for his signature.

The shift in 529 plans would be the biggest win so far for school choice advocates on the federal front this year since Trump took office.

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