Letter: Strong financial support needed for education

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Many thanks to Students United for the DREAM Act for inviting me to speak. I enjoyed the opportunity to participate with students and to work together to bring more awareness to the DREAM Act.

Civic involvement like this should last a lifetime. Particularly important is becoming involved to ensure strong support for education. Too many Texans encounter financial barriers to higher education, and too many others leave college with a mountain of debt.

I authored the “More Education” tax credit to help students seeking education beyond high school.

Also known as the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), this provision allows students or their families to reduce their federal tax payments by up to $10,000 over four years as reimbursement for tuition, textbooks and other higher education expenses. This $2,500 annual credit can cover most or all of the expenses at SAC.

Even those attending school and working part time who do not have as much as a $2,500 tax liability, can still claim up to $1,000 in a refundable tax credit for eligible educational expenses, which is similar to the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit. The credit does not apply to expenses you paid with monies received through a scholarship or other grant, but the credit can be used to cover any of your additional out-of-pocket expenses.

Unless my “More Education” initiative is extended, as proposed by the president, 11 million students and their families will be denied this assistance in 2013.

Some in Congress oppose increasing or even maintaining federal support for students. Your involvement matters.

Both my district office and my congressional office in Washington provide year-round internship opportunities for students who have an interest in government and want to learn about the inner workings of a congressional office.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas


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