Monday, January 19, 2009

School Tax Credits Help Kids and the State

The financial slowdown is prompting many families who can no longer afford both taxes and private school tuition to move their children into public schools. The accelerating closure of private schools in urban areas will only add to the pressure. Public schools will suddenly need to spend more -- even as tax revenues drop. With this kind of budget problem, lawmakers need to take a look at an important benefit of programs that make it easier for families to choose private schools: School choice means huge savings for state and local governments.

There is a way to avoid getting slammed by huge new demands for public school spending while saving money and improving education: A broad-based, moderate-size education tax credit would help families stay in private schools and save their children from burdening taxpayers with the public schools' (much greater) price tag. The credit would also help others make the switch to the private sector, easing the burden on taxpayers even more.

Education tax credits reduce the amount a taxpayer owes the government for each dollar one spends on his child's education or on scholarships for children who need them. That money comes straight off a person's tax liability, so it's a dollar-for-dollar benefit: You can send it to the government or use it on the kind of education you want to support. Tax credits for donations to scholarship organizations help support school choice for lower-income families.

Legislators and overburdened taxpayers have literally $millions$ of reasons to support school choice!

School Tax Credit Can Help Kids and the State by Adam Schaeffer of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom.

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