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Educational Vouchers and Tax Credits: A State-by-State Summary of Current Programs

IP-2002-F (December 2002)
Author: Marya DeGrow

PDF of full Issue Paper
Scribd version of full Issue Paper

Executive Summary

As the Colorado legislature seeks to improve education for all students in the state through vouchers or tax credits, Colorado can learn lessons from its sister states about the various forms such legislation can take—and in the process find a plan that works best for this state.

This paper defines what is meant by vouchers and tax credits and gives a broad overview of such programs where they are currently administered.

  • Ten states currently offer some variety of educational tax credit, tax deduction, or voucher.
  • Five states provide some form of K-12 vouchers for a limited and designated segment of the population.
  • Four states allow individuals a tax credit for selected educational expenses incurred in the education of their children in grades K-12.
  • Three states allow individual or corporate tax credits for donations to school tuition organizations (STOs) or public schools.

Minnesota is the only state that provides a tax deduction for K-12 educational expenses and tuition for all families residing in the state with students in grades K-12.