Do Arizona homeschool families receive a tax credit for educational expenses?
One of the questions we are asked regularly is whether there is a tax credit for homeschoolers or if homeschool materials can be deducted from one’s income taxes. The short answer is no, in Arizona there is neither a tax credit nor a tax deduction for homeschool expenses.
AFHE Board Members have had many, many conversations with curious parents about this topic over the years. The general feeling people share is that we are paying taxes that go to the public schools so we should get to use some of that money for educating our own kids.
The reality is that once you pay your taxes it is no longer your money. It becomes the State’s money to spend as the State sees fit—and what the State funds it must regulate.
Many people pay taxes who don’t have children or whose children are grown and they don’t get to take advantage of any benefits from those taxpayer dollars supporting the schools. We all pay taxes that go toward many things our families will never utilize or benefit from.
Another point of confusion is that some parents mistakenly believe the money that would be spent on their child’s public school education is sitting in an account somewhere. This is not the case. Public school districts only receive state and federal funds for students who are enrolled in public school.
It really is helpful to understand that when you choose to homeschool you are taking full responsibility for your child’s education—including the financial responsibility—and that is an investment worth making.
Freedom from increased regulation and government interference is far more valuable than whatever small amount a tax credit might be. It is a privilege and a sacrifice worth making to invest in our children and their education.
The reality is that there is a financial demand that accompanies the decision to homeschool. The financial impact does not need to be an obstacle, however. It is possible to homeschool even with a limited budget by utilizing some of the many money-saving opportunities available such as used curriculum sales, the local public library, inexpensive or no-cost curriculum. You can homeschool your children economically and with excellence even without funding from the government.
Arizona is one of the best states in the nation in which to homeschool. We are essentially a notification-only state. We file an Affidavit of Intent to Homeschool for our children one time and we are required to provide instruction in at least the subjects of reading, grammar, math, science, and social studies. What curriculum we use, what content we cover and when, what pace we go … these are all up to us as parents to decide based on our children’s needs and interests. There are no reporting or testing requirements for Arizona homeschoolers, which allows us the freedom to provide an excellent education for our children in a manner that best meets their needs. We are able to teach to their strengths, allowing them to dive deep on topics of interest, and provide extra practice and opportunities to develop challenging areas.
With government money comes government strings. AFHE values the liberty parents enjoy in Arizona to be able to direct their children’s education free from burdensome regulation or oversight.
We are certainly blessed to have the opportunity to choose this model of education for our children!