Bill on education income cap passed

JIJI

The government adopted a bill Friday to introduce an income cap in fiscal 2014 for its tuition-free program for public high schools.

Households with annual income of ¥9.1 million or more will become ineligible for the program, which was introduced in 2010.

The government hopes to get the bill to revise the law on the program to be enacted during the current extraordinary session of the Diet, which started Tuesday for a 53-day run through Dec. 6.

Parents of public high school students will need to report their annual income to the schools or the local boards of education after the introduction of the income cap, which is seen affecting some 790,000 students.

Tuition fee collection will start with first-year students joining high schools in fiscal 2014, while students in their second and third year in the fiscal year will continue to be covered by the current blanket free education program.

The tuition fee revenue will be used to set up a new scholarship program for students from low-income households and increase financial support for households with private high school students.