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Why the Senate Should Expand the 529 Savings Program

Posted on December 9, 2017 in College Education Education Education News

As part of the tax plan that is going to the floor of the Senate and which will be decided upon by Senators, there should be a provision to help lower income and middle-income families save for public education on a tax-exempt basis. There should be a plan for expanding the 529 savings program.

The 529 savings program allows families to save for the college education of their children with tax-free income. Many states further expand the program to exempt that income from state taxes. In the House of Representatives’ tax plan, there is a provision to expand the 529 savings program to include savings for private and religious schools, as well as apprenticeship programs. As the tax bill goes to the Senate, they should also include this expansion, according to The Hill.

The 529 savings program should definitely include apprenticeship programs. After all, not everyone needs to go to college to start a good career. Many students would benefit greatly from attending an apprenticeship program that would prepare them for a career that pays well. If we want to help American students prepare for the future, we should be giving them as many options as possible and not be limiting them to a four-year college degree.

However, the Senate tax plan does not include this expansion. It only includes an expansion to allow families to start saving for the 529 program starting from pregnancy as opposed to from birth.

Dozens of organizations across the United States and education activists have urged the Senate to includes this expansion in their tax bill.

The only ones opposed to this expansion are people like the teachers’ unions. They argue that it will take away money from public education, but that is simply not the case. After all, this new expansion would only cost around 60 million dollars a year, while public education receives 700 billion dollars a year from the federal government.