September 4, 2002

Action Alert—Vote on Education Savings Accounts

The U.S. House of Representatives is about to cast a vote that will fix the Education Savings Accounts (ESA) law for home schoolers. It will also make ESA permanent as the law is presently scheduled to faze out by 2010.

Currently, the ESA law only allows home schoolers to participate if they are considered private schools under state law. Tomorrow, Wednesday, September, 4 the House will be voting on a suspension bill introduced by Representative Kenny Holshof (9th/MO) that will amend the law and give all home schoolers a chance to participate in the education savings plan. Because it is a suspension bill and can't be amended under the House rules, it needs a 2/3-majority vote to pass.

Requested Action:

Please, call your U.S. Congressman immediately and give him the following message: "Please vote for H.R. 5203, the "Education Savings and School Excellence Permanence Act of 2002."

You can reach your congressman through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard number: 202-224-3121.

If you do not know who you congressmen is, visit HSLDA's legislative toolbox at: http://www.hslda.org/toolbox .


Unfortunately, some home schoolers do not qualify for Educational Savings Accounts. Home school students qualify only in states that define home schools as private schools. These states include: AL, CA, DE, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, NC, NE, TN, and TX. Five other states-- CO, FL, ME, VA, WV, and UT--recognize groups of home schoolers as private schools, but individual home schools do not qualify.

HSLDA has worked closely with the Congress to fix this problem for home schoolers. Please call and urge your congressman to vote yes on H.R. 5203.

How do these education savings accounts work?

An ESA is an account in which interest and capital accumulate tax-free for educational purposes. For example, upon the birth of their first child, a family invests $2,000 in an ESA. They deposit $2,000 each year until the child reaches the age of six, at which time the parents will have saved $12,000. If their money has been compounding annually at 13% during that time, they will have earned $4,645.41 of tax-free money toward their child's education expenses. A little math demonstrates that the $4,645.41 in interest, divided by 12 years of education, would give parents approximately $387.12 per year to spend on their child's education.

Home school families would especially benefit from the fact that anyone, not just parents, can contribute to a child's ESA. Friends and relatives can give, as long as annual contributions do not exceed $2,000. These new provisions are effective for tax years beginning January 1, 2002.

Please join us in supporting this positive legislation.