Monday, September 13, 2004

The Wrong Path to School Choice

Adam B. Schaeffer offers some advice for "Changing School Choice Strategy" at Tech Central Station:
The legal, regulatory, and political bunkers manned by soldiers from the Democratic coalition make school choice a slow and difficult battle. What little ground reformers gain is constantly under threat of being lost. The school choice movement should step around these obstacles by concentrating their efforts on a drive, in each state with an income tax, for Universal Tuition Tax Credits (UTTCs) that allow all parents a true choice in education.
The idea has several problems:

1. Not every State has an income tax.

2. Even in States with an income tax, the size of the tax credit wouldn't offset the cost of private schooling for parents whose income tax bill is already low because their incomes are relatively low, they can claim a large number of exemptions, or they have large itemized deductions.

3. States can reclaim lost income-tax revenues by raising marginal rates and/or increasing sales taxes.

I say, keep up the good fight for universal recognition of school vouchers. If Bush is re-elected the fight should become easier.