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Opportunity Scholarships in Connecticut

Posted on March 6, 2024


HARTFORD- State legislators along with the Yankee Institute, the Connecticut Center for Educational Excellence (CTCEE), scholarship families, school officials and policy experts held a press conference on urge the passing of HB 5101, An Act Establishing A Tax Credit For Educational Access And Opportunity Scholarships. 

The press conference coincided with a public hearing in the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, in which the committee heard testimony on legislation making more opportunity scholarships available to low-income households by creating a tax credit program. The program has been replicated in nearly two dozen states across the country. Additionally, opportunity scholarships will help eliminate the achievement gap between high and low-income households – a gap that is one of the largest in the country. 

“An opportunity scholarship provides disadvantaged students with a chance at an education that would otherwise be out of reach for them,” said Rep. Holly Cheeseman, who is an introducer of HB-5101. “A child’s dream should not be inhibited based on their economic background, their zip-code or the color of their skin. Every child in Connecticut should have the same opportunity at success.” 

The House Republican Caucus submitted testimony in favor of Opportunity Scholarships Creating stating that ‘this tax credit would open new opportunities for struggling students and their parents to get individualized attention during their educational journey. Businesses and individuals will be incentivized to donate to nonprofits or other organizations that provide educational scholarships through the enactment of this tax credit. Finally, this bill will help children living in poverty break free from underperforming school systems.”

Yankee Institute voiced support for HB 5101 saying the scholarship program it creates will help all students excel in the classroom today and achieve their dreams tomorrow. “This reform does not take any money from public schools and will help improve educational outcomes for all students.”

This program will help scholarship-granting organizations, like CTCEE, provide more assistance to more low-income families who have been systematically left behind in our public school system.  

According to the Yankee Institute not only will this legislation help those families most in need, but it will also help all students excel as our traditional public schools will also benefit from the positive changes this legislation will bring.