Note: SB23-080 was postponed indefinitely in Senate Education committee on February 14, 2023. The following is the CCC’s testimony in support of the bill.
SB23-080 establishes the innovative parental engagement in schools income tax credit, allowing parents to claim a tax credit for volunteering in their child’s school. The bill incentivizes parents to act in service to their child and their child’s school, contributing both to their child’s well-being and the common good. Numerous studies have shown the benefit – to students, to families, and to schools – that is created when parents volunteer in education, including higher test scores, higher attendance rates, and increased social skills for students. This trend transcends family income or background.
Volunteering is a foundational way for a parent to establish a presence in their child’s education. Catholic Church teaching affirms the parents’ role as primary educators of their children. While schools play a crucial part in the education of children, it is the parent, ultimately, who is responsible for their child’s learning. It is the obligation of every parent to be active participants in their child’s education – both at home and in the classroom. Volunteering at the school is one way to ensure that that responsibility is not abdicated or forgotten as the child learns away from home.
When considering this proposed legislation, it is important to note that wealthy parents don’t need wage replacement support when they take time off to volunteer – but lower income parents do. Income should not be a determining factor in a parents’ ability to participate in their child’s education. As mentioned earlier, the benefit of parental involvement in school is applicable to families across all income levels. This tax credit will help make volunteering more financially feasible to all parents. It is an all-around win.
SB 80 is an excellent bill that will ultimately incentivize more parental involvement in children’s education. The Colorado Catholic Conference strongly urges a yes vote.