The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

Advancing Milton and Rose D. Friedman's Vision of School Choice for All Children

Virginia - Education Improvement Scholarships Tax Credits Program

Enacted 2012 • Launched 2013 • Tax-Credit Scholarship

Individual and business taxpayers in Virginia can receive tax credits worth 65 percent of their donations to scholarship granting organizations, nonprofits that provide private school scholarships. An individual must donate at least $500 and may not donate more than $125,000 per year. There is no limit on the size of business donations. The number of available tax credits is capped at $25 million a year.

Latest Stats (2013-14)

  • Students participating: 275
  • Schools participating: 30
  • Scholarship organizations: 7
  • Average scholarship value: $2,456

Program Details

Student Funding
The total scholarship for any student cannot exceed the actual education expenses of the student or 100 percent of the per-pupil amount distributed to the local public school by the state, whichever is less.

Student Eligibility
Students must come from households where family income is less than 300 percent of the federal poverty line ($70,650 for a family of four in 2013-14); students with special needs also are eligible and have a higher income limitation (400 percent of the federal poverty line or $94,200 for a family of four). Students must either be enrollees in grades K-1, a public school student the previous school year, a previous scholarship recipient, or a new resident of Virginia.

Legal Developments
No legal challenges have been filed against the program.

Rules & Regulations
• Income Limit: 300 percent x poverty; 400 percent x poverty for special education students
• Prior Year Public School Requirement: Conditional
• Geographic Limit: Statewide
• Enrollment Cap: None
• Scholarship Cap: 100 percent state share of Standards of Quality funding per pupil
• Testing Mandates: Nationally recognized norm-referenced tests
• Credit Value: 65 percent
• Total Credit Cap: Yes (individual) / None (business)
• Budget Cap: $25 million

Governing Statutes
Code of Va. §§ 58.1-439.25-28

Friedman Contact
Leslie Hiner |

Related Research

10/30/2014 The School Starter Checklist: Meeting the Private Education Regulations in States with School Choice
11/16/2009 Virginia’s Opinion on K-12 Education and School Choice
4/25/2007 The Fiscal Impact of a Tuition Assistance Grant for Virginia’s Special Education Students

Related News

3/12/2014 National Review Online | Choosing to Learn
1/23/2014 U.S. voucher, school choice enrollment reaches record high
8/15/2013 Sharing your story in “The ABCs” can be as easy as one, two, three
8/6/2013 Stateline | Tax Dollars for Private School Tuition Gain in States
1/23/2013 “The ABCs of School Choice,” 2013 Edition, Now Available
8/27/2012 President's Comments: School Choice Still Rising with More States Coming on Board

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