Charlotte named on national education tour

December 16, 2013 

Charlotte named on national education tour

A cross-country, whistle-stop train and motor coach tour in support of school choice will make a stop in Charlotte.

Hosted by National School Choice Week, the tour – which will feature 14 “whistle-stop” events from Newark to San Francisco – will provide students, parents, educators and community leaders with the opportunity to celebrate effective education options, while calling for even greater school choice in North Carolina and across the country.

The Charlotte event, the fourth event on the tour, will be held at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 23 at Carolinas Aviation Museum. Attendance is free but reservation is requested by visiting schoolchoicetrain.com.

Local event planning partners include: Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, GreatSchools.org, Students for Education Reform – UNC Chapter, North Carolinians for Home Education, and North Carolina Association of Independent Schools. Speakers will be announced soon.

In its fourth year, National School Choice Week (Jan. 26-Feb. 1) shines a spotlight on the need for all types of education options — from traditional public schools to public charter schools, magnet schools, private schools, online learning, and homeschooling.

Stops along the National School Choice Week 2014 Whistle-Stop Tour include: Newark, Philadelphia, Washington, Charlotte, Columbia, Augusta, Birmingham, Jackson, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Tucson, Los Angeles San Francisco. In addition to the tour, National School Choice Week will feature an estimated 5,000 independently-planned and independently-funded events across the country.

Governor’s School seeks students in the arts

The South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities is accepting applications for the 2014 summer programs and the 2014/2015 academic high school year until Jan. 8.

The public residential high school serves students statewide and is located in downtown Greenville. SCGSAH offers rigorous academics and pre-professional training in five arts areas: creative writing, dance, drama, music or visual arts. Summer programs are offered in each of the art areas.

Online application are available at scgsah.org under Admissions.

For more information, call 864-282-3713.

Sophomores can apply for GSSM

The Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics is accepting applications from current high school sophomores through Feb. 15. Online applications are available at scgssm.org/apply-now.

GSSM is a two-year, public, residential high school specializing in the advanced study of science, technology, engineering and math.

GSSM applicants should be current high school sophomores and state residents, have a PSAT score of 110 or higher (math and verbal only), have an unweighted GPA of 3.5 or higher, complete geometry, algebra I and II, English II and one lab science by the end of sophomore year.

Tax tips for students

Although college students may not have earned enough to be required to file, he or she may get a refund if their employer withheld taxes from pay, the nonprofit KHEAA says. Before filing, discuss the tax situation with your parents. They may be able to claim a student as a dependent on their tax returns, which could save them thousands of dollars.

Students and parents may be able to take advantage of these programs on their federal taxes:

• American Opportunity Credit, available for the first four years of college.

• Lifetime Learning Credit, available if a taxpayer or a dependent is taking college courses to acquire or improve job skills.

• Tuition and fees deduction, which lets taxpayers deduct qualified education expenses paid during the year for themselves or a dependent. The expenses must be for college.

• Student loan interest deduction, which lets people deduct up to $2,500 per year on federal taxes for interest paid on federal student loans.

For more detailed information about federal programs, visit irs.gov to download the free Publication 970 Tax Benefits for Education.

Remember that tax rules may change from year to year, so make sure you have the most up-to-date information before filing.

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