Good News and Bad News for Poor Kids

Hey poor kids. I've got good news and I've got bad news. Which do you want first?

Good news first? OK.

In Arizona today, an appeals court upheld the constitutionality of a program in which corporations give money to create scholarships to help public school kids enroll in private schools. The companies get tax credits for their giving, and 1,947 kids get a private school education.

The American Civil Liberties Union has been fighting the Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship Program for years, on the grounds that some of the scholarship money finds its way into the hands of religious schools. On the other side, the always-valuable Institute for Justice.

And now for the bad news.

In D.C., 1,900 poor kids will be pulled out of the private schools they have been attending as part of a federally-funded scholarship program when the Democratic Congress allows the program to expire next year, something it signaled its intent to do this week. (Murmurs from Obama's press secretary suggests that there may be a small compromise in the works for kids already enrolled in private schools. But such a deal will be cold comfort but to the thousands of kids who applied for scholarships and didn't get them, not to mention all the kids who have yet to enroll in D.C. schools.)

Just as with the Arizona program, the D.C. scholarship program subtracts no money from the public school budget, which means that the public schools are actually winding up with more money per kid when some kids leave the system. But that hasn't stopped critics like Sen. Ted Kennedy's office from falsely claiming that the program "takes funds from very needy public schools to send students to unaccountable private schools."

When those Arizona private school kids take a school trip to D.C.—you know, the kind of trip that private schools take their kids on—maybe they can stop in and visit their D.C. counterparts in their decaying public schools, just to say hello.

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  • ||

    I've often thought my disgust for Ted Kennedy could not increase.

    Ted always proves me wrong.

  • ||

    See, another reason why I can't ever support the ACLU.

    I think the ACLU is ignoring the glaringly obvious. If you can't have government fund school with any religion in it.

    Then you can't have government fund any school because otherwise you have an inevitable violation of the church state thingy.

    I mean, what is and isn't a religion is subjective.

    Or is the ACLU saying they have the definitive definition of what is and isn't a religion.

    I claim that environmentalism is a religion. I should start a lawsuit about that.

  • ||

    tag closing failure.
    only the one sentence was supposed to be bold.

    I think that is my first attempt at bolding, so that should be some something.

  • The Extispicator||

    You forgot the other good news. There is at least a 41% chance that a DC public school student will not be shivved or raped in any given school year. And an almost 2% of getting an adequate education (on your own time, of course).

  • Dello||

    "takes funds from very needy public schools to send students to unaccountable private schools."

    Is this anything like when Obama sends his own kids to private school, instead of having them (and the matching dollars) go to public school?

  • ||

    I don't get this issue at all. Think about religion out of its religious character and as a "viewpoint" under speech doctrine. So long as government funding is neutral--it neither favors nor disfavors the religious viewpoint, then why is it wrong? Given the tension between the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses, I think this is the correct way to view this issue.

  • Xeones||

    Yo, fuck Ted Kennedy.

  • Lefiti||

    If you lunatic marxists of the right ever manage to destroy public education, it will be the last nail our ciffin. Thank God, you're marginal little pricks dependent on donations to spew your ideological twaddle. Go fuck yourselves.

  • Warty||

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/04/AR2008040402921.html


    We're often told that public schools are underfunded. In the District, the spending figure cited most commonly is $8,322 per child, but total spending is close to $25,000 per child -- on par with tuition at Sidwell Friends, the private school Chelsea Clinton attended in the 1990s.

    What accounts for the nearly threefold difference in these numbers? The commonly cited figure counts only part of the local operating budget. To calculate total spending, we have to add up all sources of funding for education from kindergarten through 12th grade, excluding spending on charter schools and higher education. For the current school year, the local operating budget is $831 million, including relevant expenses such as the teacher retirement fund. The capital budget is $218 million. The District receives about $85.5 million in federal funding. And the D.C. Council contributes an extra $81 million. Divide all that by the 49,422 students enrolled (for the 2007-08 year) and you end up with about $24,600 per child.

    For comparison, total per pupil spending at D.C. area private schools -- among the most upscale in the nation -- averages about $10,000 less. For most private schools, the difference is even greater.



    Motherfuck these cocksuckers. They'll knowingly fuck over a bunch of kids for their ideology.

  • ||

    It really doesn't have anything to do with religion. They would have some objection even if the private schools were strictly secular. Liberals are just afraid this will undo desegregation. They've been wiping their ass with the freedom of association for 50 years, did people think they were just going to stop?

    It's imperative to them that all races and classes are mixed together and given the same sub-par education on a shaky theory of equal outcomes. They've proven time and time again that education, as in learning, is not even on their radar. They want to schools to play out their grand social experiment, especially if it perpetuates an undereducated lower class to bribe at the ballot box with the "oppressor's money."

  • Warty||

    Yo, fuck Lefiti.

  • ||

    Pro Libertate: Indeed.

    And the ACLU might be shocked to learn that GI Bill education money has gone to religious colleges since the beginning of the program in the '40s. My Dad went to a Jesuit-run college that way even though we weren't Catholic.

  • Reinmoose||

    "Lefiti" just doesn't have the spark that he used to have

  • ||

    Reinmoose,

    Being a skipping record of idiotic observations and obscenities will do that to you. In fact, if he can't be bothered to come up with new material, neither can I.

    SugarFree | December 4, 2008, 11:56am | #
    Who is this Lefiti?

    Remember your last bout of explosive diarrhea? No matter how often you flush, it wasn't going to wash away that spattering of shit just under the lip of the back of the bowl.

    He's the guy who broke in your house to lick it off while fucking a microwaved cantaloupe.

  • ||

    "...last nail our ciffin..."

    Woah.

  • Mary Jo||

    "I've often thought my disgust for Ted Kennedy could not increase.

    Ted always proves me wrong."

    I'm so glad he's going away soon.

    BTW:

    - JFK, shot in the brain by Oswald
    - RFK, shot in the brain by Sirhan-Sirhan
    - EMK, shot in the brain by cancer

    Hmmmm...

  • ||

    I claim that environmentalism is a religion. I should start a lawsuit about that.

    No standing unless you're claiming to be an environmentalist and being discriminated against. But thanks for parroting deceased nutjob and former congresswoman Helen Chenoweth.

    I think that is my first attempt at bolding, so that should be some something.

    Dude, it's 2009. HTML text tags (ie, bolding) are pretty, well, 1995. Also, there's a preview button to allow you to check your post. Just sayin'

  • Brett Stevens||

    kwais,

    I think many things are "religions" in the sense that they become objects of blind faith for people who cling to them and defend them with absurd responses. Egalitarianism, pseudo-environmentalism, and so on.

    No one wants to admit that our public schools fail because the biology of most children means that a 12th grade education is lost on them, and because we refuse to admit that, we keep dumbing down our curriculum to pander to the stupid kids. The smart kids suffer, and so their parents take them to private schools.

  • Paul||

    If you lunatic marxists of the right ever manage to destroy public education, it will be the last nail our ciffin.

    Win.

  • ||

    It really doesn't have anything to do with religion.

    Of course. It has to do with the teachers' union. Any and all voucher/private school programs need to be killed as soon as possible lest people decide to start calling for more of them because they like them.

  • ||

    I believe that liberals really do want to improve public education, which like most of their goals is a noble one. However their methodology, as always, is flawed. I've always gotten the sense that they want to "force" the rest of us to fix public education by allowing the schools to crumble.

    Not sure why the ACLU got involved in this. It doesn't seem like their cup of tea. Despite the fact that they're often seen as part of the left-liberal coalition, they've done a lot of good for individual rights.

    My understanding is that federal funding for public schools is based on enrollment, so it seems like Sen. Kennedy is technically correct on this, though losing the big picture about how this ultimately benefits those students more than would their attendance at state schools. KM-W, please comment.

  • Paul||

    And the ACLU might be shocked to learn that GI Bill education money has gone to religious colleges since the beginning of the program in the '40s.

    GI bill doesn't send impressionable minds to school. This is about control. Not choice.

  • Paul||

    Whenever a liberal tells you they're "pro-choice" always...always ask him "which one?"

    I believe that liberals really do want to improve public education, which like most of their goals is a noble one. However their methodology, as always, is flawed.

    I respectfully disagree. Liberals want to protect teacher's unions. liberals believe that somehow, by protecting the teacher's union, that this will lead to better outcomes for the children. Sort of a happy accident, if you will.

  • ||

    Shut the fuck up, Lefiti.

  • ||

    Hell, if the religious schools teach the little hooligans not to steal my car or walk on my lawn, I say they're welcome to my tax money.

  • ||

    Anyone else see the Missouri strategic reprot that was leaked to the public?

    http://www.infowars.com/images/scan0022.jpg

    It mentions Ron Paul supporters as being likely to attack FEMA camps or the federal reserve bank.

  • Mary Jo||

    Your Tax Dollars at Work
    "More than one out of every five dollars of the $126 million Massachusetts is receiving in earmarks from a $410 billion federal spending package is going to help preserve the legacy of the Kennedys," the Associated Press reports from Boston:

    The bill includes $5.8 million for the planning and design of a building to house a new Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate. The funding may also help support an endowment for the institute.The bill also includes $22 million to expand facilities at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum and $5 million more for a new gateway to the Boston Harbor Islands on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a park system in downtown Boston named after Kennedy's mother and built on land opened up by the Big Dig highway project.We suppose if you can't make history, you might as well buy it with other people's money.

  • ||

    My office overlooks the Rose Kennedy Greenway. It is attractive.

  • Milena Del Valle||

    "My office overlooks the Rose Kennedy Greenway. It is attractive."

    That maybe. But at what price?

  • ||

    what is and isn't a religion is subjective.

    Not really.

    Environmentalism = not a religion. No deity.

    Libertarianism = religion. Market as deity.

  • Geoff Nathan||

    FWIW there's a good article by Roland Martin on the front page of this hour's CNN website that says it quite well, too:

    Roland Martin on the DC Voucher Program

  • Warty||

    Tony wears a purity ring.

  • ||

    Milena Del Valle ,
    I think the big dig came in at about 12 billion, maybe it was 20 billion. But if one upper middle class lazy jerk can have a better view from his office it is all worth it.

  • ||

    Dear Senator Kennedy:

    Shouldn't you be dead?

    Thanx

  • ||

    gaia is a deity.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_(mythology)

  • Stagman||

    I wonder if Congressional Democrats realize that their leader went to nothing but the best private schools his entire life: Punahou (my alma matter, it can be fairly describe as opulent), Occidental, Columbia, Harvard Law.

  • ||

    If:

    Libertarianism = religion. Market as deity.

    Then:

    Leftism = religion. State as deity.

  • ||

    Close tag.

  • ||

    I wonder if Congressional Democrats realize that their leader went to nothing but the best private schools his entire life

    As is right and natural for a member of the Master Class.

    For the proles, though, not so much.

  • alan||

    Suggestion for Reason's headline when Kennedy craps out:

    Senator Edward Kennedy, A Sorry Life of Unaccountability

  • MNG||

    This debate is funny.

    No law prevents rich people from going to private schools.

    And all of you are against taking money from one person to give it to some one too poor to afford a private school.

    So really what the fuck are you guys bitching about?

    It seems like your upset that the money that is taken from people to fund public schools, all of which yiou are against anyway, can't be spent on private enterprises.

    Welcome Bizarro! Hello!

  • MNG||

    And people should know better before leaping to some "well for liberals are just all about control or the teachers unions" stuff.

    Since I'm a liberal I'll tell you what the big deal for us.

    First, we like public schools. We think it's a good idea that every child is guaranteed an education. We think it's good because 1. it can help promote the public good by helping tap into and fostering potential intelligence that will benefit us all (like uncle Milty Friedman who went to public schools, I mean, look how much he enlightenment he has given to, say, the school voucher movement...) and 2. it serves the purposes of equal opportunity (since someone without an education rarely has an equal shot at getting life's goods compared to someone who does). Also, kids are'nt responsible for their parents bad choices and so should get some assistance that will help them overcome them one day.

    Now, having said that, what is our beef with voucher programs? Most of them that I have seen grant a fraction of the cost of tuition, therefore ensuring that the poorest can't use them, or they are used by an astounding number of folks for religious schools (and I don't think any taxpayer should have to pay for religious instruction).

  • MNG||

    Boy, I really gotta get my toddler out of the room when I type these...

  • ||

    MNG: You're seriously claiming that one of the liberal objections to vouchers is that they often aren't large enough?? That's a good one!

  • Mike Laursen||

    See, another reason why I can't ever support the ACLU.

    I support the ACLU and the Institute for Justice. Look at it this way. The Institute for Justice is arguing for educational freedom and the ACLU is arguing for religious freedom. And that's exactly the type of legal argument one would want it to be in a libertarian world.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Sigh. "... one would want to see in a libertarian world."

  • Stagman||

    MNG, you're conflating 2 separate issues.

    The first is public funding of education. You'll find a diversity of opinions from libertarians on this issue. Some are totally against it and some, like myself, are generally for it.

    The second is the establishment of government run schools. This is what most libertarians are against and what you are mostly talking about. It is a matter of choice and of competition. In a voucher program the funding goes to parents, not a school. The parents make the decision that's best for their kid. This creates competition among school for the voucher money. Competition reduces costs as schools try to become more competitive. As far as I know, a voucher program has never been fully implemented anywhere in the US for any considerable length of time.

    Many private high schools already have financial aid programs for poor students. The idea is that smart people are evenly distributed across the wealth spectrum. The financial aid given to smart poor kids bolsters the academic reputation of the school. A voucher program makes this option available to more schools.

    Also, to address your religious school red herring; if parents want to send their to a religious school on a voucher program, so be it. It's their choice. The funding goes to parents, not the schools. Why are they making the choice to send their kids to religious schools (the vast majority of private schools have a religious affiliation)? Because they are better. (Don't even try to argue this one, you'll just look silly.) Why are they better? Because they must be to survive. They are in competition with other private schools as well as public schools for students.
    Incidentally this is Constitutional (there's a case on point that I don't remember the name of off the top of my head).

  • squarooticus||

    We think it's a good idea that every child is guaranteed an education.


    Well, they're guaranteed a seat in a public school, that's for sure. At issue in this story is whether they're actually receiving an education or not, and whether there might be better structures than government-run schools that are effectively monopolies for most people.

  • MNG||

    "Why are they better? Because they must be to survive."

    That's hilarious, considering religious schools are attached to churches and get donations all the time. You act like these religious schools are just like any business in the marketplace. Except people don't go to Wal-Mart every Sunday and give 10% of their income to it in exchange for stories and songs.
    This is why for example there are so many religious private schools and often also why they can educate kids for "less" since the building and other things have been paid for with parish money.

    "if parents want to send their to a religious school on a voucher program, so be it. It's their choice"

    In the case you're probably thinking of about 90%+ of the money went to religious schools. When you start getting that high it looks a lot like a transfer of public monies to religious establishments.

    But again, you are in the position of advocating that money be taken from me and given to private enterprises. Socialized costs, private gains.

  • MNG||

    "You're seriously claiming that one of the liberal objections to vouchers is that they often aren't large enough??"

    Yes.

    You act like you've never heard this before. But it's the most common one I hear from liberal friends.

    It goes like this: if we take some portion of what we spend on public education and give it to anyone who transfers to a private school, and if that portion is, say, $2,000 and average private school tuition is $4,000, then poor parents would never get to use the voucher (they can't scrape up the difference) and you end up 1. helping a lot of middle class go who were on the margins of going and 2. putting $2,000 into the wallets of rich parents who were going to send their kid anyway but now get to have a voucher off-set the costs. And now the public schools, full of mostly poor kids, have even less money to do their thing.

    That's how the argument goes.

  • MNG||

    I mean, this would be an objection to privatizing many things, that government money, taken from all of us, is then used to make private enterprises very wealthy.

    Something seems stinky about that.

    I also find it interesting that you hear how much our schools suck and the evidence is often how poorly they fare relative to foriegn schools, and a conclusion is drawn that we need private schools.

    But are those nations that are kicking our ass school-wise educating their kids through private schools? Maybe so, but I doubt it...

  • nebby||

    "But again, you are in the position of advocating that money be taken from me and given to private enterprises. Socialized costs, private gains."

    Nope, the money is going to the parents. Welfare payments make liquor stores richer, but that doesn't mean welfare is a transfer to liquor stores.

    Or is your point that taxpayer monies going to other individuals is wrong. I could get behind that.

  • MNG||

    nebby
    Stores have actually tried to get standing to sue when a benefit to their customers is cut off.

    Thank God I think they've been denied.

  • nebby||

    "I also find it interesting that you hear how much our schools suck and the evidence is often how poorly they fare relative to foriegn schools, and a conclusion is drawn that we need private schools."

    No the conclusion is countries filled with white kids or asian kids do better than our little melting pot. However, the schools that come closest to those foreign levels of achievement are mostly private schools. The exceptions are public schools in some white/asian areas and public schools that can pick their students.

  • Paul||

    Environmentalism = not a religion. No deity.

    bzzzzzzt. Nature is the deity. Gaia.

  • MNG||

    "Environmentalism = not a religion. No deity.

    bzzzzzzt. Nature is the deity. Gaia."

    Sheesh, if people are going to talk that way then isn't libertarianism a religion?

  • nebby||

    The gaia thing shows the difference. You can say anything is someone's metaphorical deity, but when you give it a name separate from its normal name (nature/gaia) you are talking about a literal deity.

    I guess we could name the market god Friedman or something.

  • Stagman||

    That's hilarious, considering religious schools are attached to churches and get donations all the time.

    Parochial schools almost died out in the 70s because they weren't competitive against free public schools. The ones that survived did so by becoming more competitive and by public schools becoming more shitty.

    considering religious schools are attached to churches and get donations all the time

    This flat out not true. While some are, many are not. I happen to have gone to a religious school that was not attached to a church and received no money from any church. Also, being attached to a church is no guarantee that the church offers any support to the school. They are a business just like any else.

    This is why for example there are so many religious private schools and often also why they can educate kids for "less" since the building and other things have been paid for with parish money.

    Your argument only addresses the cost of education, not the quality of education. I know, I know, you are a liberal and think these are the same thing.

    In the case you're probably thinking of about 90%+ of the money went to religious schools. When you start getting that high it looks a lot like a transfer of public monies to religious establishments.

    The percentage is totally irrelevant because it was not the government who decided to give it to them. It could be 100% and not affect that fact. There's no arguing that public money is ending up at a religious school. But the establishment clause is wholly concerned with government action, and the government is giving money to parents, not religious schools. For Constitutional purposes the analysis ends here.

    But again, you are in the position of advocating that money be taken from me and given to private enterprises. Socialized costs, private gains.

    I know liberals wish libertarians were actually anarchists, but we aren't. There are a few times when this is OK, like with education (where a child shouldn't have to pay the full cost of his parent's mistakes). Also, a better educated populace is a socialized gain.

  • Mad Max||

    'But are those nations that are kicking our ass school-wise educating their kids through private schools? Maybe so, but I doubt it...'

    In some of these countries, the students are doubly enriched by going to the government schools and supplementing their educations by attending private cram schools.

    In other countries, the government pays for both a public-school system and some of the private school systems with tax money.

    In Arizona, they've gone a different route. They don't require any to pay taxes to support private school education, but if someone pays to support the education of a poor kid in a private school, then the philanthropist get a tax credit. Since he's already (voluntarily) spent money to help the education of the poor, he's given a break on paying taxes to support the government schools.

    Those who *haven't* supported poor kids in private schools still have to meet their obligation to fund education by paying taxes into the government school system.

    Nobody is *forced,* under this system, to give money either directly or indirectly to private schools.

    Of course, my tax-law professor would say that a tax credit is the same thing as a subsidy. But this is the same school who thought that a disbarred lawyer was qualified to speak at a seminar on legal ethics.

  • Another Phil||

    It seems like your upset that the money that is taken from people to fund public schools, all of which yiou are against anyway, can't be spent on private enterprises.

    Partly right. The prohibition on paying private enterprises isn't central to my objection though. It's that if a parent chooses to opt out of the public school system, they still have to pay for it. If the purpose of taxpayer funding of education is education, then who cares who gets paid to do the educating? Unless there's an unstated agenda about the content of the education.

  • JB||

    Democrats hate children.

  • MNG||

    Stagman
    You mean if you and I were both starting businesses from scratch, but someone gave me a building to use and threw in cash at regular intervals, that wouldn't give me an advantage in turning out whatever quality of product I end up creating for less than you.

    Hooo-kay.

    And I know what the Court found about the money not violating the establishment clause because it did not come directly from the parents. I think the majority was wrong. If 98% of it is going to religious schools, even if the individual parents made the decision, it looks a lot like government support, indirectly, of these religious institutions.

    "There are a few times when this is OK, like with education (where a child shouldn't have to pay the full cost of his parent's mistakes). Also, a better educated populace is a socialized gain."

    I agree. But I bet many libertarians do not.

    "Democrats hate children."

    That's why we passed SCHIP you know. One way to really get people you hate is to give them health services.

  • Emperor joe, speaking to MNG||

    'That's why we passed SCHIP you know. One way to really get people you hate is to give them health services.'

    Well done, my apprentice! Together, we will rule the galaxy!

  • MJ||

    "...it looks a lot like government support, indirectly, of these religious institutions."

    It only matters if government supports a religion directly. If the parents are free to choose, it does not matter if they make similar choices. The 1st amendment prohibits the establishment of religion, which has a very specific meaning. The radical, irrational interpretation of the establishment clause promoted by the ACLU goes far afield of the actual meaning.

    The scholarships that were authorized by these programs were funded by private corporate donations specifically for that purpose. The government was merely the steward of the funds. So, in reality, this was not even government money.

    "Most of them that I have seen grant a fraction of the cost of tuition, therefore ensuring that the poorest can't use them,..."

    In liberalland, the perfect is the mortal enemy of the good. Ensuring that the bad prevails.

  • ||

    I agree. But I bet many libertarians do not.Do you think differently of Republicans and Democrats, and if so, why?

    On a different topic, all there is to 'education' is the 'noosphere', the print and electronic technology that 'take' from the noosphere and the school facilities that house this technology. Then there are the didactic systems and administrative systems. Then there are the teachers and administrators, the students and the parents.

    Academics and politicians system and there is a combined approach to the administrative and didactic systems. Many politicians try to fix funding issues that might affect technology and the facilities. Some politicians think standardized testing is key to fixing the system.

    It's tough to blame students themselves for failing schools, as the whole system is supposed to be for their benefit. Much money is spent trying to find solutions to the various physical problems with the school, but obviously money can't 'fix' teachers or parents.

    I'm fairly ignorant on voucher programs and the like, but I have concluded that one benefits from having parents with an autodidactic streak and also a genuine interest in their child's education. There are a lot of good teachers and a lot of bad teachers in public schools [citation needed]. I can't see any solutions to these problems except at the (cliché alert) grassroots level.

    My conclusion: some people, under current circumstances, are fucked. Others are not. If the system is broken, the only answer I can think of is for parents to start becoming part of the solution themselves. Yes, I realize that this is what PTAs are for. Still, can you deny that some peoples' parents are dumbasses. No way should kids be punished for this, but in many cases there are few other possible outcomes. The kid has to have teachers, parents, peers or some other role model that is a positive example or there are high odds s/he won't get a good education no matter how much dough you throw in his or her direction.

    One could write a long book on the sociological ills that have led us to this pass, but none will change the fact that some of us are fucked. Money and resources would be hard-pressed to solve this sort of problem. Intellectual impoverishment is just as widespread, possibly even more so in this country than financial impoverishment, and there are no easy solutions, just a shopping cart of difficult ones.

    MNG, I'm sure you agree with some of that.

    Re: the Scholarship Program, I'm all for it.

  • ||

    Fuck. Broke tags. The first two sentences of my excessively long posts are MNG quotes, and the last sentence of that paragraph is my question to him.


    But shorter me: autodidacts and useful parents are what kids need, dammit.

  • ||

    I am aware of statistical realities:

    1) The reason that the US lags other industrialized nation in standardized test results and

    1) That students in any classroom/school/nation will always break down into groups (roughly) high-achieving, average and low-achieving. And obviously all these groups break down further. These groups obviously cut swaths across all backgrounds.


    I'm more interested in the practical realities of education (students maximizing individual potential) than any cold statistical evaluation of psychometric ability and information retention. After all, psychometric tests are methods of measuring education, the results of which only rudimentarily indicate any limits on future intellectual achievement.

  • ||

    Or I mean a measurement of both education *and* inherent ability.

  • Mad Max||

    'The government was merely the steward of the funds.'

    I would deny this. The Arizona tax authorities never handle the scholarship funds; they administer the tax-credit program to see if the donor gets to deduct the scholarship from its taxes. There's a lot of paperwork requirements, but the government never gets its hands on the scholarships.

    Here's the text of the law, which provides a tax credit to corporations. If a scholarship program is to qualify, so that donors get a credit for contributing to it, then the program must spend 90% of the donated money to pay for scholarships of poor kids at private schools. The private schools can't practice racial, etc. discrimination, and they have to fingerprint all staff who have contact with children. The children themselves have to transfer from a government school to a private school in the year in which they start getting scholarship funds - if they were already in a private school, they aren't eligible. The amount of scholarship per student is capped at varying rates, the cap going up during the give years of the program. If it wants, the corporation can satisfy its entire income-tax liability by giving to qualified scholarships.

    A more limited program gives a tax credit for individual donations for the private education of handicapped students. The individual can only satisfy up to $500-$1,000 of his income tax liability by giving to qualified handicapped scholarships.

  • Mad Max||

    Also, schools have to report their test scores on some standardized test.

    The operation of the corporate tax-credit program in 2007, as reported by the Arizona Department of Revenue

  • MJ||

    Mad Max,

    Which makes MNG's establishment clause objection even shakier.

  • S||

    Check the preliminary report on the DC public schools vs students in the DC Scholarship program. Standardize test results are statistically identical.

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