The Number of Failing Schools in Alabama is Rising…How You Can Help a Child Get a Better Education and Not Cost You a Penny?
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The updated list of failing schools in Alabama is out, and it is not a success story. The state suspended the reporting for 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. Pre-pandemic, there were 74 schools in Alabama listed as ‘failing’ schools. Post-pandemic, that number has risen to 79. I am a numbers guy, and this is not a good trend. In Birmingham, the numbers improved from 16 failing schools to 13…still leaving thousands of students experiencing a sub-par education. Many of these students truly want a great education but are stuck in a failing school. To see the complete list of failing schools, click HERE.
The good news is that this tragedy does not have to continue. One of the quickest and best solutions is found in the Alabama Accountability Act.
What is the Alabama Accountability Act (AAA)?
The Alabama Accountability Act has been helping disadvantaged young students receive a better education since 2013. Literally, thousands of kids have benefited from the Act.
How does it work?
AAA allows you to redirect 100% of your state income taxes (up to $100,000) to a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) that, in turn, provides funding for a child from a low-income family to transfer to a private school or to a better public school. This gift results in an income tax credit against your State of Alabama income taxes, so it does not cost you a dime.
How do I help?
For more information, visit the websites of either of the state’s two largest scholarship-granting organizations (SGOs):
This SGO has a very helpful step-by-step website at www.scholarshipsforkids.org. I particularly like that they require the parents to contribute at least a nominal amount towards the scholarship to ensure they have some skin in the game. Stephen Bridgers, Executive Director of Scholarships for Kids, recently shared the organization’s mission: “Scholarships for Kids exists to provide school choice opportunities for children from households that could not afford it. It is a simple way you, as a taxpayer, can invest in the future of our state.” It’s the easiest way to make a meaningful difference in the lives of countless students.
AOS also has a step-by-step guide at Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund and will allow users to donate up to 100% of their quarterly estimated tax payments. There are rules that you should familiarize yourself with regarding estimated payments so be sure to discuss with your tax professional.
The future economy of our state, in many ways, hinges on the quality of the education our state’s children receive. Under the Alabama Accountability Act, each of us has the opportunity to redirect our state income taxes, without any cost to us, to create a better education for disadvantaged children.
Share this article with your fellow taxpayers, and together we can raise the educational standards of our state. Consult with your tax professional or financial planner before acting on these comments to learn more about the benefits of the AAA.
Stewart H. Welch, III, CFP®, AEP, is the founder of THE WELCH GROUP, LLC, which specializes in providing fee-only investment management and financial advice to families throughout the United States. He is the author or co-author of six books, including 50 Rules of Success; J.K. Lasser’s New Rules for Estate, Retirement and Tax Planning- 6th Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.); THINK Like a Self-Made Millionaire; and 100 Tips for Creating a Champagne Retirement on a Shoestring Budget. For more information, visit The Welch Group. Consult your financial advisor before acting on comments in this article.
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