The Star editorial board loves vouchers. Loves ’em.

by David Safier

I don't have time this morning to go into details about today's Star editorial, GEICO donation a boon to tax credit program. Maybe this afternoon. But I can't let it go completely.

The Star editorial says GEICO's $8 million 100%-reimbursed-by-the-state tuition tax credit is a wonderful thing, as is the entire tuition tax credit program. That's a full throated endorsement of vouchers, even though the editorial avoided using the "V" word.

The editorial states, correctly, that individuals and corporations have given more than $500 million in the tuition tax credits since 1998. That translates to $500 million in tax dollars you and I paid to the state being used to pay for vouchers. Every penny of the $500 million was returned to the donors when they paid their taxes, because their taxes were reduced by the amount they "donated" to the program. They paid nothing. Not a penny. The state spent more than $500 million on tuition to private schools. That's a voucher, pure and simple.

Front door voucher, back door voucher. Call it a tuition tax credit if you want, but by any other name, a voucher smells just as bad.

More later.

7 responses to “The Star editorial board loves vouchers. Loves ’em.

  1. You should have said middle class? Are you admitting that you want to give religious school vouchers to middle class students? Do tell.

  2. Frances Perkins

    It’s fraudulent that somehow if we take away from public schools and give to for profits and religious schools, “competition is good.” Education is not TV sets or cell phones. And John, the vast majority of parents have already made their “choice”. That is their local public school. Fund them accordingly, not death by a thousand cuts, and don’t give us this fraud of low income students. And following on Kavanagh’s, first non sequitur, if “choice” is good for schools, why is it not good for human reproduction?

  3. State Rep. John Kavanagh

    Because it costs too much and the vouchers are not unlimited. I should have said as the middle class. But if you believe in equal healthcare access, why not education?

  4. Why shouldn’t everyone have the same health care as the rich?

  5. State Rep. John Kavanagh

    So much for pro-choice. Why shouldn’t poor kids have the same educational opportunities and choices as the rich?

  6. What’s the problem? OK, John, I’ll bite. If they would have gone to the private school anyway, then they should spend their own damn money, not my tax dollars. We don’t save tax dollars by subsidizing those kids. They never were in the public school system and never will be. The state has the responsibility to offer public education to all, which has nothing to do with a tuition subsidy for a private school. If you don’t want the public education, you pay for it. And I have a “problem” with sending my tax dollars to religious institutions that give religious education to students. Pay for it yourself or get it on Sunday for free.

    And we are not so stupid to believe that the voucher effort will end with low-income students. Moreover, if people want to support scholarships for low-income students at parochial schools, they can make tax deductible donations, not tax credit donations that costs them not one red cent.

    John, can you explain why Republicans are so against “government handouts” (like $4 per day to buy food) and bemoan the “entitlement mindset,” but when it’s a government handout to them, either in the form of parochial school vouchers or big fat tax loopholes, it’s all good?

  7. State Rep. John Kavanagh

    Let’s not forget that children who use the vouchers do not go to public schools, which is a tax savings. And while some may have gone to the non-public school anyway, if the state has the responsibility to educate children, what’s the problem? Besides, most of the vouchers go to low income children, who would not be attending the non-public school were it not for the vouchers.