School Choice & Charters

Sen. Marco Rubio Proposes Federal Tax Credit for Private School Costs

By Sean Cavanagh — December 07, 2012 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is widely regarded as one the Republican party’s top emerging brands, and in a far-ranging speech this week, he put forward an idea that’s bound to appeal to conservatives: creating a federal tax credit to help families cover private school costs.

The Florida lawmaker called for creating a corporate tax credit that would apparently support nonprofit organizations, who would provide scholarhips to students for the “private education of their parents’ choosing.”

Tax-credit-funded scholarship programs—considered by many a form of private school voucher—have become popular at the state level, including in Florida, and it seems Rubio believes the idea has applicability at the federal level, too.

“Our tax code should reward investment in education,” Rubio said, during a speech at the Jack Kemp Foundation Dinner. “If you invest in a business by buying a machine, you get a tax credit for the cost. If there is a tax credit for investing in equipment, shouldn’t there be a tax credit for investing in people?

Much of the speech by Rubio, deemed by some a likely 2016 presidential candidate, focused on the role he believes government can play in creating economic opportunities for families—as well as his view of government’s limitations. His speech has been circulated widely in the conservative press, which seems to regard it as as one of the early markers in the race to define the party’s agenda over the next four years, and beyond.

Mitt Romney, the GOP’s most recent presidential nominee, put forward a broad voucher plan that would have allowed families to use a slice of federal special education and Title I money (which helps impoverished students) for private school costs. That idea’s political prospects were probably doubtful, even if Romney had won the election.

Vouchers, and private school tax credits, of course, are adamantly opposed by many Democrats, particularly at the federal level (the picture is more mixed at the state level, particularly on tax credits). Could Democrats inside the Beltway ever embrace tax credits like the one Rubio envisions? At the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Choice Words blog, Adam Emerson dissects the partisan implications.

As Rubio’s tax-credit proposal germinates, it’s possible we’ll hear similar complimentary, and contrasting, ideas floated by other Republicans who occupy prominent spots on the national stage.

Photo: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s annual birthday fundraiser on Nov. 17 in Altoona, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Virtual Charters in Hot Water Again. Accusations of Fraud Prompt $150M Lawsuit
Indiana officials seek to recoup more than $150 million they say was either wrongly obtained or misspent by a consortium of virtual schools.
Arika Herron, The Indianapolis Star
2 min read
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis. Rokita filed a lawsuit against a group of online charter schools accused of defrauding the state out of millions of dollars Thursday, July 8, 2021.
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings/AP
School Choice & Charters How the Pandemic Helped Fuel the Private School Choice Movement
State lawmakers got a new talking point as they pushed to create and expand programs to send students to private schools.
8 min read
Collage showing two boys in classroom during pandemic wearing masks with cropped photo of feet and arrows going in different directions.
Collage by Gina Tomko/EducationWeek (Images: Getty)
School Choice & Charters Opinion Taking Stock After 30 Years of Charter Schools
Rick Hess speaks with Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, on charter schools turning 30.
8 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters In Fight Over Millions of Dollars for Charter Schools, a Marijuana Tax May Bring Peace
The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted unanimously to rescind a polarizing lawsuit settlement, pending certain stipulations.
Nuria Martinez-Keel, The Oklahoman
3 min read
Money bills cash funds close up Getty