Ellwood only school to offer state tax creditsPublished 8:17pm Friday, August 9, 2013
Ellwood Christian Academy is the only non-public school in Selma and Dallas County admitting students to their school under the state’s new school choice law. The measure is one that gives parents of students in failing public schools the option to transfer their children to another public school or to a private school for a tax credit.
Ellwood headmaster the Rev. Gary Crum said his school is open for students to transfer in under the Alabama Accountability Act because he believes all parents should have the choice for an affordable Christian-based education.
“I think that all parents should have the opportunity to have that choice of where their children will receive education,” Crum said, who wrote a letter of participation to the Alabama Department of Revenue to be included in the Accountability Act. “I think education, first and foremost, has to be choice driven as in everything else. You can shop at Target and Walmart and you can shop at Winn Dixie or Publix — why is it in education you have to be confined because you are zoned for that particular area?”
There are currently five schools within Selma and Dallas County on the state education’s failing list including: Brantley Elementary, Keith Middle and High Schools, Southside High, Tipton Middle and in the city’s system, R.B. Hudson Middle.
Ellwood is the only private school in Selma to participate in the Alabama Accountability Act and one of less than 40 private schools in the state to enroll in the program.
Crum said few parents have come forward to enroll their children under the act, but said once information about the possibility of transferring and receiving a tax credit circulates — more interest will develop. He said scholarships are available for students as well.
Tax credits given to those who transfer students to private schools are given to offset the cost of education. Those credits are estimated to be $3,500 per child and Crum said tuition for high school students at Ellwood is estimated to be $3,200 per child — $300 less than the tax credit given. To learn more about the Alabama Accountability Act, visit the Alabama Department of Revenue website or call the Ellwood Christian Academy office, (334) 877-1581.