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Thursday, January 19, 2006

School Tax Credit Update

I noted in my earlier post on this topic that NY Attorney General Elliot Spitzer seemed to come out against the new tax credit proposal presented in Tuesday's budget. I also noted that he seemed to have been completely ignorant of any of the details of the actual proposal. (Good staff there, Eliot!) Evidently, since yesterday, he decided to take out the time to peruse the details of the actual proposal - or, rather, his staff took the time to brief him on a topic that is as apparently trivial to Spitzer as the proposed budget for the state in which he is the leading gubernatorial candidate. Surprisingly, he completely reversed himself on the issue, and came out in favor of the plan. From a press release issued today by the NY AG's office:
Governor Pataki this week proposed education tax credits for lower- income families living in school districts with failing schools.
In response to a question from a reporter yesterday about providing government aid to non-public schools, I cautioned that state government must be careful when it devises such programs because of potential constitutional problems. These comments should not be construed to imply that I believe that there are such problems in Governor Pataki’s proposal, or that I am opposed to education tax credits.

In fact, I support the idea of education tax credits. Moreover, I have long advocated for finding constitutional ways to increase the assistance that the state provides to children in non-public schools. In 2002, I convened a task force that released a report outlining specific proposals to accomplish this goal.

I have not seen the details of Governor Pataki's proposal because they have not yet been released.
It appears to offer tax credits to aid parents who seek to expand their childrens' school choice or to supplement their childrens' education via tutoring or after-school programs. That is a promising approach.

While most of the benefits provided by the Governor’s proposal would go to parents whose children are educated in the public schools, the state’s first obligation must be to achieve a resolution of the CFE litigation, and to provide the appropriate and necessary funding to the public schools.

I believe that increasing public school funding and providing financial relief to parents of all schoolchildren should be education priorities this year, and I look forward to being part of the discussion on both of these initiatives.
We'll let slide Spitzer's gaffe of erroneously saying that the details haven't yet been released because we're so pleased about the fact that the AG's office is on board with this proposal. This latest development will probably quash much of the talk of the lack of constitutionality of this proposal. And possibly pave the way for more of such initiatives that will help the Orthodox community with its growing tuition crisis.


Blogger The Town Crier said...

Nonetheless the OU is still organizng this mass rally which i am afraid will be in poor taste

11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TTC, that's only because you hate the OU and everything they do.

Fine, don't attend the rally, don't even support the rally, don't let your elected officials that this is something that you care about and don't let them know that, after years of being rebuffed, you want this to stay in the budget and that their seats depend on it. Don't let them know that we, as a community can mobilize when we need to. And don't bother looking out for the families that could benefit so much from this propsoal.

Kudos to you, OM4, for highlighting this issue, supporting it, and following up on it. We need more bloggers and responsible parents like you.

12:10 AM  
Blogger The Town Crier said...

I dont hate the ou or everything they do

i merely questioned the wisdom of taking busloads of kids to rally

1:20 AM  

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