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Tax Reform Provisions for Private K-12 Education: Unintended Consequences?

by John Gordon

While the final language is not yet out, members of the conference committee on federal tax legislation have reportedly reached an agreement on the outlines of a compromise bill. Going into the conference committee, one area of agreement in the House and Senate proposals was a measure that takes direct aim at public education: subsidizing private school tuition for wealthy families.

Both the House and Senate bills included provisions that would expand the 529 college saving account plan, which allows parents to save money and withdraw that money for higher education expenses (tax-free) to also cover up to $10,000 of tuition at private and parochial schools. (Language in the Senate bill also covers home schooling expenses.) The provision is a federal subsidy for private and parochial school tuition.

As it currently stands, 529 plans are used by largely upper-income households (median income of $142,400) and by making the proposed changes, it will only increase the growing inequality in educational attainment between high-income families and low and middle-income families. The planned expansion of this tax break is welcomed by school choice advocates, who argue that public schools are unable to properly educate students and should be more market-oriented. However, this planned expansion would be largely unavailable to low and middle-income families.

In reality, this plan does not really expand school choice options to anyone. It actually undercuts the savings benefits of the plan if they are used for private and parochial K-12 tuition. Pulling out the money sooner both lessens the tax benefit of the plan and leaves less money available in the plan for college. If you are a wealthy family, this is not much of a problem. But if you are a middle class or low-income family, it would be very unwise to use this money before college. The only real beneficiaries of this expansion would be people who are high-income and wish to have the government subsidize their kids private school tuition.

Withdrawing funds from the savings plans sooner rather than later could also have implications on the investment strategies employed by states and fund managers. Such changes could impact the eventual rates of return for all participants in 529 programs.

Along with capping the deduction for local property taxes and/or state and local income and sales taxes at $10,000, the 529 measures could set back public funding for education. Combined with the trillion dollar plus increase to the federal deficit the tax bill could bring, it’s another demonstration of why our members of Congress need to vote down this bill.

Photo Contest: Send Us Your Photos of Illinois Kids & Families Today!

We want to feature your photo in the Illinois Kids Count 2015 report!

Illinois Kids Count 2015, which will be released in March 2015, will focus on trends in child poverty over the past 15 years. Growing up in poverty can have adverse effects on children’s school readiness, academic achievement, physical health, and social-emotional development, as well as social and economic outcomes in adulthood. The report will provide a broader context for understanding the key trends and issues and will discuss policy strategies for addressing child poverty at the federal, state, and local levels.

 

 

 We are looking for photos that represent:

  • kids of all ages, from infants to late teens and everything in between;
  • the broad diversity that make up our state’s children;
  • kids being kids — playing, running, attending school or after-school activities, or just hanging out; 
  • kids’ family lives, educational interests, and their relationships with teachers, caregivers, healthcare providers, siblings, friends, students, and others in their community;and
  • your community—neighborhoods, parks, schools, and libraries.

And if they happen to be doing fun kid things in identifiable places — the state Capitol, local community centers, state parks — all the better chances for your photo to win.

 

The deadline for submissions has been extended to Wednesday, December 17.

All photo participants must have permission from a primary caregiver.

Questions? Contact Yasmine Baharloo at 312-516-5577 or ybaharloo@voices4kids.org

To view past Illinois Kids Count covers, click here. To see our current Illinois Kids Count 2014 report, click here.

Submission Guidelines

1) The deadline for photo submissions is Friday, December 5, 2014. All fields in the submission form are required.

2) All photos must be submitted electronically through the online submission form.

3) If submitting multiple photos, the files should be named in the following format: photographer’s last name, photo number, and total number of photos submitted. Ex: If John Smith were to submit five photos, the second out of five photos would be named: Smith 2 out of 5.

4) Image data files should be created with digital still cameras. (Scans of photographs taken by film cameras are not eligible.)

5) Images can be retouched using software providing alterations are not extreme.

6) Both color and monochrome images will be accepted.

7) File format must be jpeg.

8) File size per jpeg must be at least 300 dpi, and sized at 8×10 in portrait or landscape. (As a general rule, if you took the photo with a 7-8 megapixel camera or better on the best and largest setting, your photos will be okay to use.)

9) Maximum file size per image should not exceed 20 MB.

10) Consent must be given by the subject(s) of the photograph, or if subject(s) is a minor, by a legal parent or guardian.

The Fine Print

By submitting your photo you are agreeing that the photo is yours and not another person’s photo. Voices reserves all rights to use your photo or not use your photo. Voices has the right to reproduce and use chosen photo(s) in publications including but not limited to: Illinois Kids Count 2015 report; annual report; other reports and communications produced by Voices for Illinois Children; testimony to legislators; and on Voices for Illinois Children’s website and other social media sites. It is clearly understood that no royalty, fee, or other compensation shall become payable to you by reason of such use. By submitting your photo, you warrant to Voices for Illinois Children that the image does not violate or infringe upon the copyright, trademark, rights of publicity, privacy, or any other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity. By entering the contest, you are assuring Voices for Illinois Children that you have obtained all model releases necessary to publish the image in all forms.

Questions? Contact Yasmine Baharloo at 312-516-5577 or ybaharloo@voices4kids.org.

The Online Submission Form

Voices for Illinois Children Photo Release

INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE

You are invited to submit a photo(s) of Illinois children that may be featured on the cover of the Illinois Kids Count report.

ASSURING YOUR CONFIDENTIALITY

Only your child’s first name and age will be used with any publication or exhibition of this photography. If you do want your child’s first name used, please indicate this by writing “Do Not Use” in the child’s first name box/field below.

GRANTING PERMISSION

By submitting my photo I agree that the photo is mine and not another person’s photo and that Voices for Illinois Children has the right to use my photo or not use my photo. Voices has the right to reproduce and use my photo in publication s including but not limited to: Illinois Kids Count report; annual report; other reports and communications produced by Voices for Illinois Children; testimony to legislators; and on Voices for Illinois Children's website and other social media sites. It is clearly understood that no royalty, fee, or other compensation shall become payable to me by reason of such use. By submitting my photo, I warrant to Voices for Illinois Children that the image does not violate or infringe upon the copyright, trademark, rights of publicity, privacy, or any other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity. By entering the contest, I assure Voices for Illinois Children that I have obtained all model releases necessary to publish the image in all forms.

   
Child's Name   Age   Child's Name   Age
             
   
Child's Name   Age   Child's Name   Age
             
     
Child's Name   Age   Child's Name   Age
             
 
Parent/Guardian Full Name (acts as signature)   Date
     
 
Mailing Address   City, State, Zip
     
 
Email Address   Daytime Phone Number
     

Photo Information & Upload

Number of photos you are uploading:

Use the space below to provide the following identifying information for each photo. Submissions without this full information cannot be considered in the contest.

If you need to supply more information and photos than enabled on this form you may submit more than one form.

  • Filename of photo (e.g., "Smith 2 out of 5")
  • Subject’s first name — if multiple subjects, in order from left to right (Note: Only your child’s first name and age will be used with any publication or exhibition of this photography. If you don’t want your child’s first name used indicate this by writing “Do Not Use” for the child’s name.)
  • Age of subjects
  • Date taken (or approximate date)
  • Location where photo was taken (school, town, park name, etc.)
 
FILE UPLOAD:
 
I agree to all terms and conditions for this contest:  I agree
 
 

If you have any questions about whether your submission was received, please email Yasmine Baharloo at ybaharloo@voices4kids.org

Help Prevent Child Abuse — Take the Parent Pledge Today

Affirm your dedication to children and families by joining Voices for Illinois Children, Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, Foster Kids Are Our Kids, Children’s Home + Aid, Be Strong Families, and Gov. Quinn by taking the Governor’s Pledge to End Child Abuse and Neglect. Together, we can prevent child abuse by building communities that are committed to families and to the support and services they need to raise strong, healthy children.

The pledge is an opportunity for signers to reaffirm their commitment to children and families, recognize the positive impact that every adult can have to prevent child abuse and neglect, and pledge to protect children and to help provide critical supports.

Pledge signees will receive 52 weekly tips that will address a variety of the most challenging parenting topics, including dealing with tantrums, setting rules, parenting teenagers, sibling rivalry, and domestic violence.

Tips will be distributed to petition signers beginning in May 2013.

Join Voices and others who are taking the Parent Pledge today.

President Obama Calls for Preschool for Every Child in America

“Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on — by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime…. So let’s do what works, and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let’s give our kids that chance.” — President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, February 12, 2013

“Where’s the Love?” — Foster Kids Want to Know

“Where’s the Love?” is a hard-hitting message from the Foster Kids Are Our Kids campaign about how bad things can happen to kids who aren’t given enough love and support. The campaign illustrates how kids in foster care are more likely than their peers to become homeless, drop out of school, or become incarcerated because they often don’t receive the love and support that all kids need in order to help them live up to their full potential.

Research indicates that negative perceptions of foster care, including stigma toward both kids in foster care and foster parents, undermines the self-esteem and mental health of countless kids and discourages individuals from wanting to support kids in foster care in their communities. As a result of this research, the Foster Kids Are Our Kids campaign was created in 2006 by Voices for Illinois Children and child welfare agencies throughout the state to combat the negative stereotypes of kids in foster care, foster parents, and child welfare professionals. The Foster Kids Are Our Kids campaign is a groundbreaking effort to improve the public’s perception about kids in foster care and foster parents.

Where’s the Love in Illinois? 

There are more than 15,000 kids in foster care throughout Illinois. The powerful message of the “Where’s the Love” campaign highlights the importance of showing children and youth in foster care love now, so they have the opportunity to experience better outcomes in their future.

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Get involved. Help the kids in foster care in your community get the support they need now, so they can grow up to achieve their dreams. Find an agency near you at Foster Kids Are Our Kids.

Foster Kids Are Our Kids is managed by Voices for Illinois Children and supported by child welfare partners throughout Illinois. WGN-TV is the primary media partner and has donated extensive airtime as part of their commitment to foster care. Creative development and design for the campaign is provided by Better World Advertising. To find out more about the campaign or for media inquiries, please contact Anne Klassman at (312) 516-5564.

Illinois Kids Count 2013: “Moving Policy, Making Progress”

Illinois Kids Count 2013 — “Moving Policy, Making Progress” — focuses on  25 years of achievements and challenges in early childhood education, health care coverage, access to child care services, and seven other featured policy areas. Illinois has made significant strides in improving the lives of children and families, but that progress is now at risk, jeopardizing the health, safety, and well-being of our children and threatening efforts to build a more prosperous future for the state as a whole.

Register Now — Illinois Kids Count Symposium in Chicago

The intersection of social media, children’s participation in social media, and its impact on their social and emotional development is one of the most pressing — and least understood — issues facing our children, families, and schools today. Join us in Chicago on Friday, March 22, for a very special opportunity to hear a nationally recognized expert discuss the challenges digital media pose to our children and their social and emotional competency, and how it affects our parenting and their learning.

13 Days Can Make a Difference — Call Your Legislator Today

In the 13 days of session between Nov. 27, 2012 and Jan. 8, 2013, the General Assembly is likely to consider numerous issues of critical importance to Illinois children and families, including Medicaid expansion. Voices encourages you to support Medicaid expansion, which will offer health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of low-income adults under age 65. Read our action alert to learn about other actions under consideration and to see what you can do to help.

Great at Eight Summit Draws Maximum Capacity Crowd

Hundreds of educators, policymakers, advocates, and concerned parents convened in Chicago on Nov. 8, 2012 to confirm that preparing our kids for success requires looking inside and outside of the classroom and recognizing the links between improving child health and well-being, strengthening families and communities, and advancing high-quality education for all children.

Great at Eight Policy Framework

Being ready to succeed in school by the end of third grade — being at grade level in reading and math are two measures — furthers the chances that a child will succeed in high school and beyond. Our Great at Eight policy agenda reflects the fact that strong families, strong communities, children’s health, and education — from birth through elementary school — are essential to children’s success.