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Posted: July 23, 2010 12:00 a.m.

Scholarship fund could assist with private schooling

Parents interested in sending their children to private schools but who cannot afford the cost may be able to quality for a student scholarship through the Apogee Georgia School Choice Scholarship Fund.

There are currently 84 private schools in the state that partner with the fund, including Woodlee’s Christian Academy in Covington and Piedmont Academy in nearby Monticello.

The program came about in May 2008 due to House Bill 1133, the Georgia Education Expense Credit. The bill allows taxpayers (both individual and corporate) to redirect Georgia income tax dollars to eligible private schools. Donors also receive a "dollar for dollar" tax credit for doing so. Up to $50 million of Georgia income tax payments can be directed to the fund. Corporate donors can contribute up to 75 percent of the corporation’s Georgia tax liability.

Students are eligible for the scholarships on a first-come-first-serve basis and they are available only in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Students qualify if they are a Georgia resident, enrolled in a secondary or primary public school or eligible to enroll in a kindergarten program, as well as home school, charter school and KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) school students. Students must have attended at least 30 days of public school to be considered eligible, and individual schools may have certain criteria that they also enforce.

To find out more, visit http://apogeescholarships.org/.

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