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Universal Tuition Tax Credit
The UTTC facilitates parental school choice by ending the penalty on parents and others who both pay taxes to support public schools and pay tuition at alternative schools.

The key to the “Universal” Tuition Tax Credit concept is that it allows any taxpayer (individual or corporate, parent or grandparent, neighbor or friend) to contribute to the education of any K-12 child (relative, neighbor’s child or to a low-income student scholarship fund) at any Minnesota K-12 school (public or private).

The UTTC is a direct dollar-for-dollar tax credit against one’s Minnesota tax liability. The maximum allowed tax credit per student is 50 percent of the state per pupil cost for public education, so public schools retain funds even when students opt out.

The incentive for individuals and business to contribute is that the tuition donor receives the same dollar-for-dollar tax credit as a parent would receive.

All payments are made directly to schools in a child’s name.

Created on 10/12/04 by Craig Westover of Afton, MN

Avg Rating: 4.5 rating (79 votes)

Vote/comment on this idea

Comments

Rating: 4 rating
A no-brainer. Why should parents that want their children to have a better education have to pay for both schools? Do we not have a choice? The government is self-interested in its own schools because of money. They don't care about freedom of CHOICE, but see it as more money to spend. If a child chooses not to attend a school then why pay for it?
It is not easy to sacrifice tuition, plus the full tax to go to a school we do not attend. My 5 siblings and I should not have to choose based on $$.

Created on 10/23/06 by Trevor Undseth of Fergus Falls, MN



Rating: 1 rating
Paying taxes to support public schools is not a penalty its an obligation. No matter how you want to justify it your plan takes money away from public schools. This plan would have more marit if the private schools would have to accept any student that wants to attend no matter what their abilities as the public schools do. Only then would you have real competition.

Created on 07/11/05 by Erik Engstrom of Edina, MN



Rating: 1 rating
A really bad idea. Paying taxes for public schools is not a "penalty". It is our obligation for the privilege of living in a democracy since only public schools are primarily committed to creating good citizens. Tax dollars should not go to religious schools which may undermine the country by teaching loyalty to a religion over country. This is how theocracies start.

Created on 06/26/05 by J Keysser of Golden Valley, MN



Rating: 1 rating
This idea seems absolutely ludicruous to me. Private schools, vouchers and tax breaks perpetuate the achievement gap. It doesn't matter if some parents can send their kids to private schools for a 'better' education; can all parents have that option? NO, so either the private schools will eventually become overwhelmed with high numbers of poor minority children(like public schools) or the stds rejected by privates will stay behind in publics. This doesn't solve the real issues underlying the gap

Created on 02/18/05 by Nancy Urbina of Minneapolis, MN



Rating: 1 rating
This would further stratisfy society into the "haves" and "have nots" while also violating the 1st amendment. Only public schools will accept anyone and tax money should only go to schools that are accountable. Private schools do not have licensed teachers, discriminate in whom they accept, and expel those that are difficult to educate. In difficult budget times, the legislature should reduce the public funds (for textbooks, transportation, etc.) that go to private schools.

Created on 12/03/04 by J Keysser of Golden Valley, MN



Rating: 4 rating


Created on 10/28/04 by Allegra Hyde of White Bear Lake, MN



Rating: 5 rating
In a time that donations are down directly to Catholic Churches our schools are struggling to survive. Many people who have ceased donations to the church, however understand the importance of private education, may opt to donate to the school instead. I think it is a perfect step in the right direction.

Created on 10/26/04 by Terese Hepp of New Hope, MN



Rating: 5 rating
This is a wonderful idea for leveling the playing field. The low-income children/families who want the opportunity to try private k-12 schools will have it and the donor receives a tax credit. It is a win-win situation for both.

Created on 10/25/04 by Margie Lauer of Minneapolis, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/25/04 by Lorenzo Bellard of Minneapolis, MN



Rating: 5 rating
I'm perplexed by the absence of this idea in the edited version of the town hall that was broadcast. The man who suggested this idea to close the gap by giving families more control and districts more money presented it live at the taping. In a slightly confused response, Sup't Harvey said "we need this and more." Supporters tried to respond, but couldn't get the mic from the public employees with more traditional views. Why wasn't this idea broadcast and why ask us to attend if not wanted?

Created on 10/25/04 by Elizabeth Mische of Saint Paul, MN



Rating: 2 rating
The best investment that businesses can make is an investment of human resources by encouraging parents to spend time (during the work day) at their children's schools on a regular basis ideally once per month. All students (especially students of color and elementary) enjoy seeing "mom and dad" engaged in the learning process in concert with their teachers. Also helps with discipline issues. Time $$$ are usually more effective than tax breaks.

Created on 10/22/04 by Rita Burch of St Paul, MN



Rating: 3 rating
It sounds like a good idea, but what about families in poverty who who don't have the money to pay tuition and don't pay taxes?

I definitly agree that families should have more choice in where they send their children. Maybe it would be "more equal" for us to support magnet and charter schools.

Created on 10/17/04 by Siobhan Boylan of St. Paul, MN



Rating: 5 rating
The most beneficial part of this idea is that it changes the control of education funding from politicians and lobbyists with NO regard for results, to parents and communities whose ONLY concern is results. There are other ways to get there, like universal vouchers, but this is where we need to go.

Created on 10/15/04 by Jerry Ewing of Apple Valley, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/14/04 by gwen longtine of st.anthony, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/14/04 by Howard Hickman of Saint Paul, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/14/04 by D Lofquist of St. Paul, MN



Rating: 5 rating
Great idea should help many!

Created on 10/13/04 by Tammy Applin of New Brighton, MN



Rating: 5 rating
Single mom raising two kids alone. Sending oldest to private school for past 7 years. Very hard to do. Even while not working. This would or could change my life.

Created on 10/13/04 by Chrystina Backstrom of New Brighton, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/13/04 by Bruce Hendry of Minneapolis, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/13/04 by Bruce Hendry of Minneapolis, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/13/04 by pam von Gohren of Minnetonka, NB



Rating: 5 rating
Great idea!

Created on 10/13/04 by Amy Conniff of Shakopee, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/13/04 by Patricia Goodwin of Watertown, MN



Rating: 4 rating


Created on 10/13/04 by Brigid Connolly of Saint Paul, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/13/04 by Sandra Greening of Shakopee, MN



Rating: 5 rating
What a brilliant idea! Have your cake and eat it, too. Then have more cake (courtesy of individuals and business).

Created on 10/13/04 by Ben Richter of Minneapolis, MN



Rating: 5 rating
Parochial schools can play a role in addressing some of the problems (i.e. class size, parent involvement). Parents certainly may choose where to educate their children but private schools still have to pay their teachers. I gladly pay under $3000/year in grade school tuition, but sadly many can't afford even this. If only we'd see that low income families also know what's best for their kids and support their efforts to make good choices. Instead goverment continues to say, "We know better."

Created on 10/13/04 by Allen Labitzky of Golden Valley, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/13/04 by Chad Boegeman of Shakopee, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/13/04 by Shae Beltran of Richfield, MN



Rating: 4 rating


Created on 10/13/04 by P Huston of Maple Grove, MN



Rating: 5 rating
I truly believe that if I am sending my children to private school, I should have the taxes I pay for public school refunded up to the cost of the tuition, or the total public school tax burden, whichever is less. Thank you

Created on 10/13/04 by Raymond Reynolds of Fridley, MN



Rating: 5 rating
This is a step in the right direction.

Created on 10/13/04 by Daniel Van Bogart of Maple Grove, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/13/04 by Menachem Feller of West Saint Paul, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Mary Wilmes of South St. Paul, MN



Rating: 4 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Maureen Kapaun of St. Paul, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Clay A Heil of Andover, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Thomas Walt of Hastings, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Gary Volberding of Crystal, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Monica Garcia of Columbia Heights, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Carol Solheid of New Prague, MN



Rating: 5 rating
As the parent of three elementary-aged children, I support a tuition tax credit both nationally and for my state, Minnesota. I feel that choice in learning is imperative to a family receiving the best education for their children. Understandably, that often means private school over public education -- and if the public schools are forced to become more effective (through educational programs and fiscally) --it's about time.

Created on 10/12/04 by Jacqueline McMillan of Minneapolis, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Tracy Nelson of St Paul, MN



Rating: 5 rating
As principal of a Catholic school, it is very important to me that parents are supported in their choice of education for their children. To choose to put a child in a nonpublic school is not a choice against the public schools, but a choice for their faith, or what ever is their reason for choosing a nonpublic school. Tuition continues to climb in nonpublic schools, and parents deserve some help and support from the state.

Created on 10/12/04 by Jan Heuman of St. Paul, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Nora Thorp of Minneapolis, MN



Rating: 5 rating
I've thought for a long time that such a system should be in place. Great idea!

Created on 10/12/04 by James Danko of St.Paul, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Cathy Lombard of Minneapolis, MN



Rating: 4 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Janis Judd of Shakopee, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Tara Stevens of Minneapolis, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Jennifer Carey of Shakopee, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Sean Martens of Apple Valley, MN



Rating: 5 rating
Well thought out and insightful.
I don't know if it would work in reality -- because everybody might want to send their kids to the same school -- but i think it has a lot of potential.

Created on 10/12/04 by Vincent Lesher of River Falls, WI



Rating: 5 rating
It seems like a fair response to the needs of all people no matter what their situation is.

Created on 10/12/04 by Terry Weber of Bloomington, MN



Rating: 5 rating
Great idea! I am totally in favor of tax credits for tuition. Thank you Craig for thinking of families who are trying to choose best in their childrens' education. It is not an easy world out there to be or to raise kids with high moral values. Our kids need parents to steer them--to be involved in their lives in every way. Tax advantages that lead to increased choices for our children are a good thing that help kids and parents.

Created on 10/12/04 by mike olmstead of bloomington, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by John Brandl of Afton, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Sherrie Schroeder of St. Louis Park, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Nicole Schwartz of Shakopee, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Joellen Marx of Wayzata, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Scott Breimhorst of Shakoee, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Roxanne Stack of Shakopee, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Diane Lee of Shakopee, MN



Rating: 5 rating
both my family and my son's school would have benefited from this if it had been in place during his k-12 years in MN. we opted for the best choice for our son'd needs, rather than on the least objectionable course. he went on to private college, which was agin best suited for his needs, if not our budget

Created on 10/12/04 by carole hawley of minneapolis, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Rosie John of Saint Paul, MN



Rating: 5 rating
The better we can educate our children the better their world will be. I, as a single parent with no child support, struggle on a daily basis to keep my children focused on what is important to their future. Every penny counts in our household. It would be extremely benificial for us all if we did not have to spend so much of our precious little time counting them pennies!!!!!

Created on 10/12/04 by Tamara Flynn of Saint Paul, MN



Rating: 5 rating
Let's help our parents and our schools to allocate the money where its being used, whether it be public or private!

Created on 10/12/04 by Renee Zeilbeck of Bloomington, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Brenda Robbins of Minneapolis, MN



Rating: 5 rating
What a great idea... help for families and for the schools who would retain at least half of the funds without having to educate them.

Created on 10/12/04 by Jason Brandvold of Mounds View, MN



Rating: 5 rating
Great idea! I would love to see a push for this in Congress.

Created on 10/12/04 by J Young of Mpls., MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Sandra Westerman of Minneapolis, MN



Rating: 4 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by ad Montello of St. Paul, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Susan Hammond of Minneapolis, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Mary Bellard of Minneapolis, MN



Rating: 4 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Kim Bennett of St. Paul, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Alisa Duncan of Saint Paul, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Margie Lauer of Minneapolis, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Scott Nelson of Minneapolis, MN



Rating: 4 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by S Mische of St Paul, MN



Rating: 5 rating
Great idea, this would drive the private sector to invest in education and greatly encourage more involvment in education by our community.


Created on 10/12/04 by Joshua Borenstein of St Louis Park, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Ericca Maas of Saint Paul, MN



Rating: 5 rating


Created on 10/12/04 by Elizabeth Mische of Saint Paul, MN



Vote/comment on this idea