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PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts React to Minnesota Legislature Passing Tax-Credit Scholarships

May 18, 2017

"Private school choice in Minnesota is literally nonexistent, so enacting this tax-credit scholarship program would be a great first step for the North Star State" - Tim Benson

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The Minnesota Legislature this week passed a tax-credit scholarship program that awaits the signature of Gov. Mark Dayton (D). The bill allows eligible students to receive scholarships in an amount up to 70 percent of what the state pays to educate a student in a public school. Students would be able to apply their scholarships – currently up to $7,500 – to a private school of their family’s choice. Individuals can donate up to $10,500 and businesses up to $150,000 to a scholarship management organization (SMO) to pay private school tuition. Donors to SMOs would receive a 70 percent tax credit for the gift.

The following statements from education policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Media Specialist Billy Aouste at and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 847/445-7554.

“Private school choice in Minnesota is literally nonexistent, so enacting this tax-credit scholarship program would be a great first step for the North Star State. It would give all Minnesota families a greater opportunity to meet each child’s unique education needs while simultaneously saving the state money. When parents are given the opportunity to choose, every school must compete and improve, which gives more children the opportunity to attend a quality school.”

Tim Benson
Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute

“The Minnesota legislature deserves credit for passing a scholarship program allowing tax benefits for corporations and individuals to fund students seeking alternatives to public school. This is a good temporary measure as we wait for America to embrace full school choice, where money follows the child to a wide array of independent education options. The more we divert students from the wasteful district system, the better.”

Bruno Behrend
Senior Fellow, Education Policy
The Heartland Institute

“The passage of a tax-credit scholarship would make Minnesota the 26th state with a private school choice program. This is great news for the students who are seeking education options outside the one-size-fits-all public school monopoly. Students can now pursue their passion to an education option of their own choosing.”

Lennie Jarratt
Project Manager, Education
The Heartland Institute

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Tim Benson joined The Heartland Institute in September 2015 as a policy analyst in the Government Relations Department. @BenceAthwart
Bruno Behrend, J.D., is a senior fellow for education policy at The Heartland Institute. @BrunoBehrend ‏
Lennie Jarratt is the former director of the Center for Education Opportunities at The Heartland Institute @LennieJarratt

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