WASHINGTON (March 18, 2020) – Because of the Supreme Court’s recent hearings on Espinoza vs. Montana Department of Revenue, tax credits have become a high-profile topic of conversation among legislators and reformers.

In the ninth installment of a series on civil society, Victoria Bell, assistant director of K-12 education relationships at The Philanthropy Roundtable, shows the efficaciousness of tax credits—not just for improving educational options, but catalyzing institutions of civil society as well.

She finds that since the creation of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program in 2001, the private school sector, local communities and private, voluntary contributors have worked in close partnership to expand educational opportunities for children from low-income families.

Bell argues that the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship Program empowers students from low-income families by awarding them scholarships to attend a private school of their choice. Since 2001, the FTC program has served more than 784,000 students from low-income families with an average household income of $25,731.

Today, more than a quarter of all students attending a private school in Florida do so through the FTC program.

The author concludes that, “the FTC program has generated a wide spectrum of activity outside of the government to expand educational opportunity for hundreds of thousands of low-income students across Florida. The program has mobilized millions of dollars in private, voluntary giving, and these contributors remain engaged in the program year after year.”