School Vouchers and College Savings Accounts: A Proposal
So I was thinking a bit today, and wanted to get some reactions to this concept:
1) Calculate the average per student expenditures by state, including non-public school students in the definition of "per student" (call that the "adjusted per-student expenditure");
2) Rather than a school voucher, offer a tax credit in the amount of the adjusted per-student expenditure to anyone with a child in grades K-12 and with actual education expenses (private school tuition) of equal to or more than the adjusted per-student expenditure; and
3) For taxpayers with private school tuition less than the adjusted per-student expenditure, fund a college savings account with the difference.
As I see it, this should accomplish the following:
a) offer school choice to a number of families that otherwise could only consider public school;
b) minimize the drain on public school funding that providing choice threatens;
c) potentially defrays the cost of college for students who might otherwise have been unable to attend.
School vouchers are the greatest civil rights issue of the 21st century.
OK I'm a little tired but hear me out. Aren't vouchers usually used for poorer students in areas with poor schools? Then likely these families wouldn't be paying taxes anyway, and thus wouldn't need deductions. Regardless, I think this is a great idea for families above the poverty line.
I generally really like the idea, but Iím a huge supporter of school choice. I especially like the tax credit over a voucher system.
One part Iím not sure about is the college savings account. Not every occupation requires a college education; Iíd have a problem sending students to school when they donít necessarily have a need for it or maybe are not even sure they want to go. Itís a market distortion I think should be avoided.
Also, would you propose this on the Federal level or at the state level? Iíve read that some think a Federal school choice program could violate the 10th amendment since no powers are given to the Federal government over education. I donít really have an opinion but Iíd be interested in yours.
Iíd be a little cautious towards a federal program as opposed to state programs because of the risk of overregulation creep on private schools. Something at the state level would at least give you the option to move to another state if the program ends up being corrupted or even if it starts producing other unintended consequences.
Otherwise I think itís a huge improvement over what we currently have, I would support it.
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