Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tax Credit Scholarships Are Different From Vouchers : NPR Ed : NPR

Tax Credit Scholarships Are Different From Vouchers : NPR Ed : NPR:

Trump Highlighted This Unusual School Choice Idea Last Night

In his speech last night, President Trump asked Congress to pass a broad school choice initiative.
"I am calling upon members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children. ...
"These families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school that is right for them."
It's not clear yet exactly how a program like this could be funded. "There isn't that much money that is fungible from the federal education budget," points out Samuel Abrams, an expert in education policy at Teachers College, Columbia University.
There is currently a bill in the House that would replace the major federal education law with block grants, including for vouchers. However, that law was reauthorized with broad bipartisan support in 2015, making such a reversal difficult.
But Trump's speech did contain a clue as to how school choice might expand without major reappropriation of federal funds. He spoke about one of his invited guests, a young Florida woman named Denisha Merriweather:
"As a young girl, Denisha struggled in school and failed third grade twice. But then she was able to enroll in a private center for learning, great learning center, with the help of a tax credit, and a scholarship program."

What he was actually talking about was Florida's tax credit scholarship program. And it's worth looking at the details if you're curious about exactly how expanded school choice might work under this administration.
Most people are familiar with voucher programs, where state dollars go to pay for Tax Credit Scholarships Are Different From Vouchers : NPR Ed : NPR:

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