New Study Examines Tuition Tax Credits
Today, the Show-Me Institute released a new policy study, "The Fiscal Effects of a Tuition Tax Credit Program in Missouri," by University of Missouri-Columbia economics professor and Show-Me Institute board member Michael Podgursky, former Show-Me Institute policy analyst Sarah Brodsky, and current Show-Me Institute policy analyst Justin Hauke.
A tuition tax credits program would allow Missouri taxpayers to target their tax dollars towards meaningful educational reform by providing educational scholarships to low-income Missouri families. In the states where they have been adopted, such tax credits have allowed thousands of children to obtain quality educations in the schools of their choice. They have been a beacon of hope to families who otherwise would have few educational opportunities.
Not only would such a program offer new educational opportunities to thousands of students, it could well save taxpayers’ money. The study concludes:
Depending on the average scholarship size and low-income families’ responses to the change in tuition, the state could potentially save money from a tuition tax credit program. A partial credit offers the greatest opportunity for savings, but in all cases, the cost to the state will be far lower than the tax revenue loss. Most importantly, a tuition tax credit program would help to reduce the gap in educational opportunities between Missouri’s high- and low-income families, and would provide meaningful choices for students in school districts that have lost accreditation.
Steve Walsh of Missourinet has just posted a brief article accompanied by a 60-second radio spot featuring comments by Justin Hauke, coauthor of the study and regular Show-Me Daily blogger. During the interview, Justin said, "Wealther Missourians already have this opportunity. Families that can afford to send their children to private school, or whatever school they want that’s already an option for them. We’re trying to reach the vast majority of families that don’t have that option. So we’re really just trying to level the playing field."
Ultimately, this is the most valuable aspect of school choice. It makes the best educational opportunities available to children from all socioeconomic backgrounds.