Tag Archives: arizona education

Arizona Tax Credit, ASCT

Is Your Business Taking Advantage of the Arizona Tax Credit Program?

Is Your Business Taking Advantage of the Arizona Tax Credit Program?

Did you know that Arizona businesses can redirect their entire state tax liability to scholarship organizations that help improve education in Arizona statewide?  If your business is not taking advantage of these credits, please read on.

The Program

The Arizona Tax Credit program allows any C-corporation that pays Arizona corporate income tax to redirect that liability to state approved school tuition organizations (STOs) that provide K-12 education scholarships for economically-disadvantaged children. It costs your business nothing; it’s simply a redirection of tax dollars your business must pay each year. Corporate tax dollars can be given to STOs to fund scholarships for low-income children or designated specifically for scholarships for displaced and disabled students.

Corporations receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit with the state, therefore allowing corporations to redirect funds that they must already pay to the state of Arizona to the STO at absolutely no cost.

The process to enroll is very simple, and the Arizona School Choice Trust (ASCT) can handle all the paperwork for your corporation. Read more information about the program on ASCT’s website asct.org.

How do these dollars help?

Every single scholarship ASCT gives out changes the course of a student’s life forever and gives a child a chance at graduating, going on to college and becoming a productive member of Arizona’s workforce and business community.

Here’s one example of ASCT’s success stories: Jorge has been on scholarship from ASCT for nearly a decade and is now a senior at Glendale Christian Academy. He says the school has transformed his life and plans to go on to college to pursue a BS in business management with a minor in music and one day open his own business.

How can your business participate?

The process is simple. To take advantage of this tax credit, a corporation contacts ASCT and pledges to make a contribution of $X amount (any amount up to the company’s state tax liability for the year).

ASCT then completes a one-page application for that amount and submits it to the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) for the corporation. If the tax credit cap (more than $24 million this fiscal year) has not been met, the ADOR approves the request within 20 days. The corporation has 10 days from the date of approval by the ADOR to make the contribution. The corporation takes the tax credit on its tax return, but may carry any unused credit forward for up to five years. The corporation may take either the federal deduction or the Arizona state credit, but not both. To claim the credit, the corporation lists the credit on the standard 120 form and files a 335 form attached to the return.

Arizona School Choice Trust mission is to provide hope and opportunity to low-income families by providing tuition scholarships to enable their children to attend private elementary and secondary schools (K-12). We believe that a solid primary education is the key to giving children the opportunity to succeed in life and achieve their dreams, and it is key to providing Arizona a strong, educated workforce.

ASCT is the oldest and most experienced STO. ASCT focuses its scholarships on low-income students who qualify for the National School Lunch Program.  Since 1993, it has  provided more than 10,000 scholarships.

Visit asct.org to find out more about how your business can take advantage of these tax credits and change the lives of students across the state.

Virtual Schools, Online Education

Virtual Schools, Online Education: Is It Right For Your Student?

Virtual Schools, Online Education in Arizona: Is It Right For Your Student?

As adults we know that not everyone is suited for a  9 to 5 job. Whether it is work style or other responsibilities such as parenting, social, and community commitments, one size fits all does not fit all.

But what about kids? What if they don’t fit into the traditional school model? What if they want to progress more quickly through a subject or need more time?  What if they can’t focus due to social challenges or even attend a bricks and mortar classroom due to severe allergies or other medical concerns? Increasingly, families are turning to technology for a solution.

In Arizona, students from across the state may enroll in a full-time virtual public school – tuition free. This innovative school option combines public school, distance learning, and elements of schooling at home – and its popularity is gaining, not just in Arizona, but nationwide.

In fact, according to new research by Evergreen Education Group, as of late 2011, 30 states now have full-time, multi-district virtual schools that enrolled an estimated 250,000 students in the 2010-2011 academic year, a 25 percent increase over the previous year.  Yet despite this growth, many parents don’t fully understand virtual school and how it works.

First, parents often confuse virtual schools with homeschooling. The two are very different.

Virtual schools deliver highly accountable education to students in the comfort of home. State-certified teachers deliver a rigorous curriculum that correlates to state standards and students participate in state testing. Most virtual schools provide everything a student needs for school, including curriculum materials and loaned texts and computers.

Parents also worry virtual school students sit in front of a computer all day; they don’t. The computer is a tool for teachers and parents to manage and track assignments, communicate (along with the phone) and deliver interactive curricular materials, but it is not the only tool that students use. Students complete many assignments “unplugged” and spend time reading textbooks, using workbooks, reading library books and doing hands-on experiments — just like a traditional school.

Also, just as there are in traditional schools, students in the virtual school setting learn under the guidance of a state-certified teacher. Assisting the student in day-to-day activities is an adult Learning Coach, who is typically a parent, but may be another family member or adult caregiver. The teacher works directly with both the student and Learning Coach to develop an individual learning plan, provide instruction and evaluate assignments.

And despite a common misconception, virtual school students socialize. Like all kids, they choose to IM, text or talk to one another on the phone, but good virtual schools also host a number of educational field trips each month so students can get together as a group and engage in real-world learning. Many of the students find that the flexibility of virtual education makes it possible to be involved in activities, such as sports and volunteering.

In fact, some families who choose virtual schooling so their child can pursue their dreams, whether that be the Olympics, professional golf or even acting.

As a principal, I know every parent wants his/her child to receive the best education possible.

Parents need to do their homework to pick a high quality virtual school that’s the best fit for their child. Look for a school with a track record of delivering student academic achievement and high levels of parent and student satisfaction. Other quality benchmarks include: accreditation from AdvancED; full-time, certified and highly qualified teachers; state-of-the-art technology resources; and community activities like clubs and field trips for students.

Ultimately, you must decide what type of schooling is right for your child.

For more information about virtual schools and online schooling, please visit www.connectionsacademy.com.