North Carolina lawmakers on Thursday approved a tax break of up to $6,000 a year for parents to recover some of the expense of private school tuition or homeschooling for their child with disabilities.
According to The Associated Press, Republican House Majority Leader Paul Stam has worked on the tax credit for six years. A legislative analysis of the bill estimated up to 5 percent of the 200,000 families eligible would use the tax credit and the switch could actually save the state money. The AP report said North Carolina spends more than $8,000 per child and local officials spend another $2,000.
I’ve written before about private school vouchers for students with disabilities. Some advocates for these students say parents may not realize that they forfeit their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act when they accept the voucher and transfer their child to a private school.
The North Carolina measure, though not a voucher, would put parents in the same situation. But first Gov. Bev Perdue has to sign the bill into law. I haven’t read anything that would give away her opinion on the bill. But she appears to be a fierce defender of the state’s public education system.
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.