The House Education Innovation Policy Committee reviewed bills Tuesday that would expand education tax credits and tax deductions for prekindergarten and K-12 expenses. They are (with bill authors and bill descriptions in parentheses):
- HF 72 (Rep. Sarah Anderson — Education expense credit and deduction provided to apply to expenditures prekindergarten expenses)
- HF 245 (Rep. Dean Urdahl — K-12 teachers who complete master’s degree in a content area directly related to their licensure field allowed tax credit, and money appropriated)
- HF 359 (Rep. Linda Runbeck — Reading tax credit)
- HF 667 (Rep. Sarah Anderson — K-12 education expense credit modified, credit amount and income phaseout for the credit increased, and credit phaseout threshold for inflation)
- HF 798 (Rep. Jim Knoblach —K-12 education expenses subtract and credit modified; credit extended to tuition; subtraction and credit amounts increased; income phaseout for the credit increased; and credit, subtraction amount, and credit phaseout threshold adjusted for inflation.)
During the discussion on HF 798 — which also would extend education tax credits to tuition — a conversation on vouchers and accountability broke out. After some exchanges on the issue, the committee chair moved to hear other bills on the agenda due to time constraints.
To improve teacher effectiveness and retention, Rep. Urdahl proposed HF 245, which would create a new individual tax credit for K-12 teachers who complete a master’s degree in the core content area in which the teacher provides direct classroom instruction.
The committee also heard testimony on HF 359, which would extend the reading credit by five years and increase the maximum credit amount. The bill would also change the definition of a qualifying child to include children evaluated by a licensed psychologist, children with dyslexia and children with a deficit in spelling.
The committee passed all of the bills out to the House Education Finance Committee (with the exception of HF 245, which was laid over for more discussion).