The final draft of the GOP tax bill, unveiled on Friday, includes a provision that will expand education options by helping parents save money for their children to attend private school.
The provision was introduced by Texas Senator Ted Cruz. “My amendment expands 529 so now you can not only save to go to college, you can also spend from your 529 plan on K-12 education expenses – for public schools, for private schools, for religious schools, for homeschooling – up to $10,000 a year.”
You can think of a 529 savings account like a Roth IRA, but for education. “Money goes in after tax, but then grows tax-free. Distributions are tax example if used for qualified education expenses,” reports Newsmax.
Thanks to Senator Cruz, “it will become a lot easier for parents and their kids to have more options when it comes to education,” writes Forbes’ Ryan Ellis. With a 529 plan, “parents can start saving right away…when a child is born,” continues Ellis. “The best sign this is smart policy is that the Left is going completely apoplectic. They hate the idea that parents can free themselves from the big teachers’ unions.”
The vote on Cruz’s amendment was 50-50, with Vice President Mike Pence stepping in to break the tie.
Another late addition to the bill was an increase in the refundability of the $2,000 child tax credit from $1,100 to $1,400. Florida Senator Marco Rubio had vowed to vote against the bill if this change was not added.
Rubio has expressed frustration that members of his party were willing to raise the corporate tax rate to 21% to make up for lowering the top tax rate for individuals, but not for helping low-income families with kids. The change in child tax credit refundability will be especially beneficial for Latinos, which tend to have large families. Some believe the move means Rubio is trying to create a voter base for a 2020 presidential run.
The final vote on the GOP tax plan is expected to take place before Christmas.
Editor’s note: I applaud this because families and education must be encouraged, but they determine our future. Cruz and Rubio seem to be attuned where others are not.