Is Minnesota Next?

Torah Academy of Minneapolis students on a recent visit to the state Capitol.

Torah Academy of Minneapolis students on a recent visit to the state Capitol.

Will Minnesota become the next school choice state? It now depends on Governor Mark Dayton. The House and Senate recently included a $35 million Opportunity Scholarship program in their tax agreement, however the Legislature and Governor are in the midst of intense negotiations trying to find agreement before Monday’s deadline.

The Opportunity Scholarship Program would award a 70% tax credit to donors who contribute to scholarship granting organizations. The organizations would then award scholarships of up to $7,500 for children to attend the private school of their choice. Families would qualify as long as they earn at or below 370% of the federal poverty level (approximately $89,000 for a family of four). The bill also included an expansion of the individual education tax credit to include pre-kindergarten and tuition expenses, while at the same time expanding the income limits.

Agudath Israel of Minnesota’s President Rabbi J. B. Borenstein applauded the efforts of the legislative leaders who supported this effort as well as the entire coalition. “This program will help thousands of Minnesota families afford the school of their choice. We encourage Governor Dayton to sign the new scholarship program and the tax credit expansion into law.”

Agudath Israel’s coalition partner, Minnesota OAK (Opportunity for All Kids) is encouraging Minnesota residents to contact Governor Dayton through their website.