Common Sense in Arizona
The Arizona Republic, the state’s largest paper, has a great editorial defending Arizona’s new scholarship tax credit program, which is quite similar to the proposals that we’ve been considering here in Missouri:
This myopic battle is anchored in fear. Its proponents fear that perfectly defensible programs for poor kids may metastasize into something bigger. But dread of what the future may hold is a mighty poor argument for denying a quality education to kids right now. It is not just the corporate tax credit they are fighting against. Last year, the state Legislature approved, and Napolitano signed, bills creating education voucher programs for disabled kids and children in foster programs. Those programs also are tied up in court by many of the same opponents.
Voucher programs traditionally have had a tougher time in the courts than tax-credit programs, so the future of these valuable tools may be more in doubt.
It would be a shame to see such programs flounder on the specious fear that if you give vouchers to disabled kids, or to kids at the rocky bottom of life’s well, that public education itself will crumble.
Simply put, it won’t. Education choice strengthens the underlying system. Someday, with luck, opponents of reform will figure that out.
Sadly, defenders of the status quo here in Missouri seem to be even more entrenched than they are in Arizona.
Hat tip: Cato