Monday, April 7, 2008

The more money we come across the more problems we see

The Commonwealth Foundation has this article about the savings inherent in school choice programs:

Friday, March 28, 2008

School Choice Tax Credit Saves Money in IL

An analysis by the Illinois Policy Institute of the Illinois Education Expense Tax Credit finds that an increase on the cap for that credit to $4,000 per child would save taxpayers $3.5 billion over 10 years. The savings would occur when families choose lower cost schools of choice rather than public schools (per pupil expense in IL is over $11,000, similar to here in Pennsylvania).

The Illinois tax credit differs from Pennsylvania's EITC, in that it allows parents to take a tax credit for educational expenditures (tuition, books, et. al) for children in grades K-12. (For more details on this program, and others across the country, see The ABCs of School Choice, produced by the Friedman Foundation.

An individual tax credit would be one avenue to reduce property taxes in Pennsylvania, a variation on our model Property Tax Relief Scholarship Act. For how school choice saves PA taxpayers, read The Dollars and Sense of School Choice.

Instead of continuing to spend more and more on public schools where drastic flaws are leaving children far behind, let’s get creative! Three and half billion in savings is what I call getting more bang for your buck. Every year is seems there is a push to get more and more revenue from the same sources, and shuffling the burden around through different types of taxes—but is it perhaps possible to start spending less money to get a quality education rather than continuing to spend more with no change in quality? Competition drives down cost while stimulating achievement, while monopolies drive cost up—which system would you rather see your tax dollars going into?

Speaking of school finance, The John Cook School of Business @ SLU is hosting the Show-Me Institute’s Speaker Series. Thursday, April 17th is James Guthrie, Ph.D. speaking on “How much money will it take to give America good schools?” A good question indeed. Guthrie is a smart fellow, so it should be an intriguing discussion. It’s 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Cook Hall.