MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Opportunity Scholarship provides low-income families with more schooling options for their children, and now officials are asking for the community's help.
Tax credits for this program expire on Dec. 31, and scholarship officials say they need more donations to keep supporting the students currently on the scholarship.
Throughout the last four years, 21,000 children have applied for this scholarship throughout the state. Five-hundred low income children who currently have access to a quality education because of the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship live in Montgomery County.
We're told that's about a $2.6 million investment being made on students in this area. Officials are now reaching out to community members in hopes they can help them gain access to more funding to support even more children.
"So the state has set aside $20 million of available tax credits and what that means is that tax payers, both corporate tax payers and individual tax payers, have the opportunity to redirect up to half of whatever their Alabama state income tax is," says Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund Executive Director Lesley Searcy.
There is $3 million still available for people to use and before the end of the year. The redirected tax money will go toward granting more scholarships to children, and officials say that it is much needed.
"We simply can't serve as many children, and we've got nearly 2,000 children throughout the state that we serve with these funds. With 21,000 on a waiting list, we want to serve as many as possible. Our average scholarship is about $6,000 a student and so the 3 million would certainly go to help many, many, more students," Searcy said.
Taxpayers that redirect a portion of their Alabama Income Tax to the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund receive a dollar for dollar tax credit.