Conservatives want to take money out of classrooms for corporate tax breaks
January 24, 2012
The Washington Examiner reveals, "Virginia Republicans have renewed their push for a voucher-style program that would essentially pay for students to attend private schools despite Democratic charges that it would rob public schools of up to $25 million a year. Virginia's constitution doesn't allow the state to send money directly to private schools, so the program Republicans propose would give tax credits to companies that provide private scholarships to poor students who want to attend private schools."
Progressive Point: Virginia's public schools are an investment in an educated workforce and a stronger economy for the Commonwealth. Disingenuous voucher bills before the General Assembly would pull money out of our classrooms so that corporations can pay less in taxes. The last thing Virginia needs in this difficult budget environment is another corporate tax giveaway--especially one taking money away from non-affluent students.
The strength of our schools will determine the strength our economy--Virginia's real job creators are truly our teachers. Under-funding education is damaging to our children and our Commonwealth. Conservative proposals to take money out of our classrooms for corporate tax breaks are just plain wrong.
Get the Facts:
- The proposed voucher bill, put forward by Del. Massie, is taken verbatim from model language written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a corporate bill factory that writes legislation designed to increase corporate bottom lines. Charitable contributions are already tax-deductible. ALEC's proposal is clearly about helping corporations pay fewer taxes--not helping Virginia children get a better education. (ProgressVA)
- This proposal is simply one more in a barrage of attacks on public education this year. Del. Massie's proposal diverts funds from (what he admits are) excellent public schools that serve the vast majority of the state's children to educate a few. Furthermore, it pulls the funds from the schools most in need - those that serve low-income populations where the local property tax base is small and therefore incredibly stretched.
- A recent study by Virginia's Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission found that the Commonwealth gives away $12.5B/year in tax breaks and loopholes that receive little to no oversight. Del. Massie's proposal contains no sunset date or provision to evaluate its impact and efficacy to ensure it is meeting the declared goal of helping children receive a good education. (JLARC)