Governor Bob McDonnell today ceremonially signed House Bill 321 (Massie) and its companion Senate Bill 131 (Stanley) to establish the need-based Educational Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit for K-12 students. The tax credit is equal to 65 percent of the donation, with an annual cap of $25 million from the state. The governor was joined by education advocates, teachers, school administrators and legislators. The legislation goes into effect on July 1.
Speaking about the bills signed today, Governor McDonnell said, "Every Virginia student should have the opportunity to get a good education and develop their unique talents. The legislation signed today enlists the private sector to stretch state dollars further in providing greater educational opportunity to families who would otherwise have a financial barrier. I thank Senator Stanley and Delegate Massie for their leadership in the General Assembly and also thank all of the advocates, families and students for voicing their support for this measure."
Delegate Jimmie Massie said, "Today's signing ceremony marks an important step that Virginia is taking to change and improve our K through 12 education system. That is to best prepare our children to compete in a global economy! By signing this bill into law, students from low and moderate income families, and students with disabilities, will be given new opportunities to achieve their academic potential. As this legislation goes into effect next week, I look forward to working with and seeing the fruits of this partnership with members of the business community, and all Virginians, to help more Virginia students get a world-class education."
Senator Bill Stanley said, "I am very excited to finally see this bill through, and to immediately start helping students gain easier and more affordable access to good education. I have always believed that a good education is vital to equal opportunity in the future. This legislation represents a significant investment in additional educational opportunities for our young people. Thank you again to all of those who advocated for this legislation, particularly House Patron Delegate Massie and Governor McDonnell."
Bill Signed Today
SB 131 (Stanley)/HB 321 (Massie) Educational Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit
Establishes a tax credit for scholarship donations to non-profit organizations to be given to K-12 students whose family's annual household income is not in excess of 300 percent of the poverty guidelines and certain students with disabilities. At least 90 percent of each donation must be distributed for scholarships. The tax credit is equal to 65 percent of the donation. There is an annual cap of $25 million.