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Thursday, January 26, 2006

More on School Tax Credits

There's an item about Governor Pataki's new tax credit proposal (which I posted about here and here) in the Politicker today. Ben Smith got it right - but it took two tries. His first stab at it completely mischaracterized the proposal as a giveaway for religious schools:
Now, the policy seems arguablem, and rather broadly targeted. Are private school parents the most needy of state education aid? Parochial school parents? At the same time, the combination of "tax break" and "education" and "God" is a politically potent one.
He misses the point that this initiative will likely help public school parents in far greater numbers than it will help private school parents. Luckily, a concerned reader of his blog phoned in a correction:
UPDATE: Teach NYS's Michael Tobman was among those calling to disagree with the interpretation of yesterday's meeting. His group, "a coalition of public school parents and lay leaders from the Catholic, Jewish and independent school communities" wanted "to point out that this is a tax credit that will benefit public school parents more than any other group." I should add that there are income caps for parents to qualify for the $500-per-kid credit, and that the money goes to the parents, not the schools.
The real problem here is the fact that this is not the first time I have seen the proposal mischaracterized by the press in its short life. I saw an item on CBS news yesterday (the clip is here), that also got it wrong. They claimed that the proposal would allow private School parents to use the $500 tax credit to pay for their private school tuition, a blatant error. Private school parents - as well as public school parents - would be able to use the credit for educational expenses that are not part of tuition, such as tutoring, test prep classes, remedial education, and special education. In their rush to create a controversial news story out of this, the press continues to do this completely constitutional initiative and the children it would benefit a grave disservice.

As the Governor said yesterday, the state spends $17 billion dollars a year on education aid, can't we throw $500 per student to needy families to allow them a choice in how best to educate their children?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pataki is sucking up to the jews. His budget ideas benefit yeshiva fimilies, has money for jewish genetic testing, and even has a grant for hadassah hospital in israel.

11:59 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Every New York politicial sucks up to the Jews. Is there something new here? Besides, the Hadassah "grant" was really an authorization to borrow money from the state. Not exactly a gift.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure, he is not seeking New York office, he is seeking national office.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's a safe bet that creative private schools (including yeshivas, but not only yeshivas) will find a way to make sure that the money gets channeled to them through some sort of program that parents pay for in addition to their tuition.

A more interesting question, I think, is what the income caps are for qualifying for the credit. That would be a better indication of whom this $500 per child tax rebate is meant for.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Every New York politicial sucks up to the Jews.'

Praise HaShem for creating a country where politicians try to suck up to us rather than rouse rabble against us!

Is the exact text of the proposal available online?

7:18 PM  
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