SC

Liberal Union Attacking School Choice In SC

SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION BLASTS MODEST EXPANSION OF SPECIAL NEEDS PARENTAL CHOICE PROGRAM || By FITSNEWS || South Carolina’s fledgling school choice program – a tax credit-funded scholarship program serving “exceptional needs” students – is a tiny bright spot amidst the multi-billion dollar local, state, and federal funding morass for one-size-fits-all government…

SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION BLASTS MODEST EXPANSION OF SPECIAL NEEDS PARENTAL CHOICE PROGRAM

|| By FITSNEWS || South Carolina’s fledgling school choice program – a tax credit-funded scholarship program serving “exceptional needs” students – is a tiny bright spot amidst the multi-billion dollar local, state, and federal funding morass for one-size-fits-all government schools.  For the intellectually and physically challenged children the program serves, credentialed private schools often offer the exact atmosphere, attention and instruction their families want for them.

The program doesn’t subsidize private schools; like the HOPE and LIFE scholarships, instead it helps students get in the door when families lack the resources to pay tuition entirely out of pocket.  Participating children range from kids with Downs Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy to those struggling with Asperger’s or Autism.

Lawmakers in the S.C. House of Representatives have modestly revised the program in their 2015-16 state budget, clarifying other groups of vulnerable children as “exceptional needs.”

This revision would allow their families to apply for the tax credit funded grants.  The newly enumerated pool includes homeless children, foster children, wards of the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) and academically at-risk children – precisely the type of vulnerable children who often fall through the cracks in public districts.

To no one’s surprise, within minutes of the proposal being made public the spin masters at the S.C. School Boards Union (err, taxpayer subsidized “Association”) went on the attack.  Liberal status quo apologist Debbie Elmore sent out a blistering advocacy email, calling on association members statewide to lobby lawmakers to vote against the program, even warning that maybe – just maybe – House lawmakers might consider raising the $8 million cap on the tax credits for private donors that finance grants through the charities issuing grants, the Scholarships Funding Organization (SFOs).

Raising the cap, of course, is what might actually allow these vulnerable children to receive grants – as the existing statewide cap was reached in the current budget year after only five months.

Most bizarre about Elmore’s callous email was her claim that “there has been no evidence to confirm the program is currently working for special needs students.”

Certainly she hasn’t talked to any of the 1,500 plus children awarded a grant in 2014 before the statewide cap was met (which artificially limited the pool of choice recipients).

S.C. SCHOOL CHOICE
S.C. SCHOOL CHOICE

“The data on students are clear and compelling,” explained Neil Mellen of Access Opportunity. “Eight-five percent of children receiving an ECENC scholarship are challenged with some type of communicating or processing disorder and 94 percent of moms and dad report it was the private school’s special services or instruction – relative to the disability – that prompted their choice.”

Mellen also detailed how 200-plus parent respondents shattered stereotypes (perpetuated by Elmore and others) about exactly which families are seeking grants to afford private school tuition.

“Seventy-one percent of parents and guardians indicated they could not, or were very unlikely to be able to, afford tuition at these special schools without the SFO scholarships,” Mellen stated.  “Moreover 67 percent reported non scholarship recipient siblings who attend, or have graduated from, public schools.”

In other words, engaged parents making child-specific enrollment decisions for their own sons and daughters.  These are not type casted “private school families” but mothers and fathers of challenged kids seeking the best for their children one kid at a time, knowing exactly what each child needs from a school.

Recently, FITS brought our readers the story of North Carolina lobbyist Brian Lewis – who until recently was fighting tooth and nail against expanded parental choice in the Tar Heel State on behalf of one of their liberal status quo unions.

What caused Lewis to change his mind?  He realized government-run schools weren’t meeting the needs of his own child.

So he made a choice ….

The kicker from Lewis’ testimonial? When he addressed the cost angle – and the fundamental inability of the vast majority of parents to make the choice that’s best for their children.

“I can afford this option for my daughter, but what about the thousands of families, unlike me, who cannot afford tuition to send their child to a private school? Don’t their daughters’ struggles count, too?” he asked.  “The answer is they should.  Sadly, if I hadn’t had this very personal challenge, I could still be on the opposite side of the private school doors trying to keep them shut to parents who desperately need this option.”

In other words … exactly what the union lobbyists in South Carolina are doing right now.

Government-run education in South Carolina is a documented failure.  Yet rather than embracing parental choice – a proven solution – liberal educrat unions are viciously attacking it in its infancy in a desperate bid to preserve their power (just ask them, they’ll tell you that’s what it’s all about).

Enough is enough: It’s time to stop pandering to the status quo and start giving more children and parents the choices they so desperately need … and deserve.

Lawmakers must expand this program, make it part of permanent state law (not just a budget proviso) and then start looking for other market-based reforms that will elevate academic achievement in the Palmetto State.  For the sake of future generations of South Carolinians, the days of slavish devotion to the government-run system must end … with lawmakers at long last transferring their loyalties to the children being left behind.

***

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65 comments

Tunes'n'News March 10, 2015 at 7:28 pm

“one-size-fits-all government schools.” more untrue fits hyperbole. There are many charter and magnet programs throughout the state. In Greenville County alone, over 10,000 of the students attend magnet schools out of their attendance zones – by “choice.” More could if they “chose” to, but don’t. Is it that you’re frustrated that you can’t afford the private school you want for your kids?

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The Colonel March 10, 2015 at 8:05 pm

You’re usually pretty good in the analysis there Tunes but here you’re off. Magnet schools should not be considered in this equation because they are talent development open to all qualified children at no cost to anyone beyond regular school fees. They generally are not “choice” but instead, the students are “chosen”.

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Tunes'n'News March 10, 2015 at 9:21 pm

I don’t follow your point. Don’t magnet schools provide a choice to those who want something different or better than regular attendance zones would provide? My point was that one size fits all doesn’t exist in Greenville County. It’s a fits straw man.

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The Colonel March 10, 2015 at 9:23 pm

No, magnets by design are limited access. You can apply but that doesn’t mean you get in.

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Tom March 11, 2015 at 1:29 am

The same applies to SC’s worst in the nation private schools.

Purple Rain March 10, 2015 at 10:04 pm

“Many magnet schools still help increase diversity within the public school system. But over the last 20 years, some magnet schools have taken on an a more competitive role in education in that they can only admit 10-20 percent of the students that apply to their school. The current role of magnet schools, therefore, is to promote academic opportunity and excellence beyond that which is offered at their regular public school counterparts. Magnet schools often attract “gifted” students who score well on tests and receive good grades. Approximately one-third of all magnet schools use academic performance as selection criteria to decide who will be invited to enroll for that year.”

http://www.publicschoolreview.com/blog/what-is-a-magnet-school

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Purple Rain March 10, 2015 at 9:09 pm

You need to look at the report cards on some of these schools. My daughter went to a virtual charter last year. I initially enrolled her again this year and then I looked at their report card. At risk and a whopping 11% are a year older for their grade. The teacher I worked with was great, can’t say enough good things about her, however, some of the demands became ridiculous. For example 6 hours pure curriculum per day, that does not include a 30 minute play time or breaks. Doesn’t even include time to teach your children how to use keyboard to complete some of the operations. That is an equivalent of appx 8 1/2 hours per day for the young ones who need more breaks. I guess some of the parents lie, so then we had to start going in person for evaluation vs. online evaluations. This was kindergarten moving into 1st grade.

IF I did not have the resources to buy school supplies, I definitely recommend Virtual Charter to any parent who wants to school at home. I prefer more flexibility, for example, I wanted Art at the beginning of the year, I also wanted more Science and History, because my childs loves those classes.

I ended up purchasing the same curriculum – it’s K12, joined a home school association and HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association).

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Fair's fair - right? March 10, 2015 at 10:03 pm

Fair enough – so, let’s look at the report cards for the private schools receiving these tax dollars. Oh, wait a minute. They don’t have school report cards and student test scores aren’t reported. That’s a real problem in my opinion – receiving public funding with no accountability.

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Purple Rain March 10, 2015 at 10:11 pm

To my knowledge all children must take assessment tests in 3rd grade. Now these assessments vary, i.e. the Charter School I mentioned have what they call PASS, as a home schooler, you take your child in for testing, I think it is Iowa testing. My child isn’t that old yet, so I have a couple years, but did inquire. It is the same tests I took as a kid, not the Common Core Assessment tests. Of course, last I read they are still working on those assessments.

I am going to do a quick fact check, but I am pretty sure the private schools are required to test.

It isn’t public funding IMO. Who is funding it? It is a tax credit, which is actually much cheaper than the average cost of student in a public school. Give me a few minutes to do some quick research….

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Purple Rain March 10, 2015 at 10:21 pm

I am sure there is more information out there and worth researching legislation, but this is what I have found regarding private schools:

“Recordkeeping/Reports Private schools must report annually to the local superintendent of education the
following information: 1) the number of students receiving instruction; 2) the number
of students in regular attendance; 3) the number of teachers employed; and 4) such
State Regulation of Private Schools—South Carolina
248
other facts demonstrating the grade and amount of educational work actually done in
the private school. S.C. Code §59-13-130.
? A private school failing to file the information within two weeks after the close of the
regular session is subject to a fine not more than $25. S.C. Code §59-13-130.”

Purple Rain March 11, 2015 at 10:20 am

I did actually take a few minutes to verify that statute I quoted yesterday and it is correct. You can look it up here:

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c013.php

“SECTION 59-13-130. Private schools required to report to superintendents.
All private schools shall report to the county superintendent of education, upon request therefor of the county wherein such school is located, the number of pupils receiving instruction, the number in regular attendance, the number of teachers employed and such other facts as will show the grade and amount of educational work actually done in such private school. The management of any private school neglecting, refusing or omitting to file such report within two weeks after the close of the regular session shall be subject to a fine of not more than twenty-five dollars.

HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 21-89; 1952 Code Section 21-89; 1942 Code Section 5351; 1932 Code Sections 1560, 5377; Civ. C. ’22 Section 2623; Cr. C. ’22 Section 508; 1913 (28) 191.”

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Mom March 12, 2015 at 2:21 pm

My guess would be they all just pay the $25 fine

Tangerine March 12, 2015 at 2:56 pm

I don’t know, I only have experience with one private school in SC and they were very strict. The others that I have looked at, are the same. I probably should dig deeper, because that fine is if they don’t it in after two weeks (basically a late fee). I would imagine they would get shut down if they don’t them in at all, but that brings me more questions than answers.

Digging again :)

Tangerine March 12, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Interesting, it is very difficult to find information on the requirements of private schools. According to Friedman Foundation:

“Private schools must either be approved by the state Board of Education or
accredited by the South Carolina Independent School Association. Church affiliated
schools are exempt.”

I looked at that Code of Laws Title 59 and SC Department of Education website, and it would take sooooo much time to research this.

You would think, this information would be a lot easier to find.

Anyways, here is the link to Friedman PDF, no idea if law is still the same:

http://www.edchoice.org/Documents/SchoolChoice/Private-Schools-Laws-and-Regulations/southcarolina.pdf

Purple Rain March 10, 2015 at 9:12 pm

Couldn’t agree more, “Enough is enough: It’s time to stop pandering to the status quo and start giving more children and parents the choices they so desperately need … and deserve.”

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truthmonger March 11, 2015 at 9:45 am

Food stamp program for education….

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Purple Rain March 11, 2015 at 10:11 am

Even the Food Stamp program is screwed up…LOL. I “think” if you have ever been convicted of a felon, you are not eligible for food stamps in SC. I guess those who have been in prison, done their time, esp those drug users who abuse themselves, don’t deserve to eat.

What a mess!

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt March 10, 2015 at 9:22 pm

Fuck’s sake I am sick of Fits peddling our schools out to “Education Inc.” with our taxpayer dollars.

Give it a rest man….jeeeeezzzzzuuus.

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Purple Rain March 10, 2015 at 10:01 pm

Your comment makes no sense to me – “peddling our schools out to “Education Inc.” with our taxpayer dollars.”

How is it your tax dollars?

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CNSYD March 10, 2015 at 10:13 pm

Howie Rich can explain it to you. If you can’t reach him, his mouthpiece (Sic Willie) will.

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Purple Rain March 10, 2015 at 10:23 pm

Is he going to explain to me how individuals who contribute to a scholarship fund, get a tax credit, somehow is using your tax dollars?

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Tom March 11, 2015 at 1:44 am

How can you not understand that? Tax credit scholarships allow a business or person to redirect state tax money to a private business of their choosing. A gives $100 dollars to private business B. A gets a 100 tax credit. Private business B now has $100 more. The state has $100 less, and it has cost A nothing. The taxpayers gave the money to the private business not A.

Purple Rain March 11, 2015 at 7:08 am

Are there any cases where you believe tax credits/exemptions are a good thing? Example, what about these non-profit organizations, political, religious and so on? What about the Child Care Tax Credit for the low income families? What about Welfare? Food Stamps? That is all taking money out of the “collective” system?

Purple Rain March 11, 2015 at 7:09 am

What if they drafted it to be a tax deduction vs. credit, could agree with the concept then?

Bill March 11, 2015 at 9:59 am

If the entity is a non-profit 501(c)(3) you can already get a tax deduction for contributions. I think 70% of private schools in SC are religious organizations. They are probably already 501(c)(3)s. So contributions to them would be tax decuctible.

Purple Rain March 11, 2015 at 10:05 am

But the topic isn’t about contribution to private schools, it is about scholarship funds. Private schools still charge to participate, and some of them cost almost as much as college tuition.

I’d be surprised if that number isn’t more than 70%. Every private school I have checked into in several counties, with the exception of some Montessori, they are all religious.

Bill March 11, 2015 at 11:57 am

Correct we are not talking bout tuition we are talking about scholarships. If you give a $5000 contribution to the First Baptist Church to establish a scholarship at its affiliated Baptist School, that is tax deductible. Tuition should not be tax deductible any more than anything else you buy. You are paying a private business for a private service. Try deducting your dry cleaning bill, or the bill for your yard service.

Purple Rain March 11, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Would you like to see more private schools that are based on academics vs. religion? I would.

You do have a valid point regarding the tax deduction, assuming the Churches offer scholarships. As I stated on an earlier thread, some of these Christian Schools require a statement of faith signed by the parent.

There are children out there with needs and their parents are not religious. Where do they fit in?

Purple Rain March 11, 2015 at 10:06 am

Tuition paid to those schools are not tax deductible by individuals.

Mom March 11, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Right. But every private school has an “Annual/Giving Fund” and you bet EVERY parent is expected to give a couple grand if you expect to be heard next time you need to speak with the principal. All contributions are tax deductible for ALL private schools – doesn’t have to be a religious school.

Tangerine March 11, 2015 at 2:05 pm

I never really experienced that, but I can imagine how that might be the case. My point is – there are sooooo few non-religious private schools.

Rakkasan March 11, 2015 at 7:47 am

AND, the taxpayer gets a tax DEDUCTION for donating to a non-profit 501C in addition to the tax credit. So, the tax expenditure is 115-128 dollars total, not just the 100 to the state. And this is “free market”?

Limbaughsaphatkhunt March 10, 2015 at 10:22 pm

Fits constantly touts vouchers and school choice. What that means is that he (and many state lawmakers) are in favor of giving parents a voucher or tax credit (our tax dollars) to attend private schools (“Education Inc.”). These could be anything from wacko christian schools, to islamic madrassahs, to jewish schools to military academies..what have you. The point of their crusade is to slowly and painfully defund public schools as if they are inherently bad, even though solid research shows little to no advantage of private vs. public school outcomes at year 12 graduation rates and SAT scores nationwide.

You see, there is vast conspiracy out there funded by the Koch bros. (no, this is not tin foil hat stuff). They think that American schools have become liberal bastions and in an effort to combat, defund and ultimately defeat “liberal” public schools they are working overtime with receptive state legislatures to move tax payer money to private schools where less “liberalism” can flourish and ultimately turn out students who skew to the right and lean GOP. Which in turn means they will grow up to vote for and become politicians who are sympathetic to big biz and cater for the rich….

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Purple Rain March 10, 2015 at 10:30 pm

I understand how some have that idea of liberalism in the schools. However, there are many cases where children have special needs, live in rural areas, want to protect their children, and more specifically parents who want educational advancement that does exist within their district.

The tax credits that I have seen proposed, and yes, this was last session with Sen. Grooms, but they are are insignificant in comparison to the costs of education per student. I think highest credit I saw for a home school was $2,000 and that is only at the state level. Your rich dogs are not going to qualify.

Tax credits are not your tax dollars, it is a reduction in the taxes and individual(s) who pay into taxes. That scholarship fund, would not benefit me in the least should I contribute to it – I am not saving money, I would be giving money and a very small portion of that could be written off my SC taxes.

I think there are many liberals who are opposed to Choice, because they feel it is an effort by the Right to give money to some rich kids. That isn’t the case. The poor are the ones who have potential to benefit most.

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt March 10, 2015 at 10:44 pm

I see. Well to expand further on my previous comments…

A tax credit is in essence our tax dollars…in that it would have been money collected by the state but now it’s not, so it’s money out of the collective coffers to benefit a specialist set of folks (hence the defund concept).
Special needs and students with other disabilities are already accommodated for (by law) under the Americans with Disabilities Act and various other pieces of Federal and state laws. They have a mandate by law to get the services they are entitled to through the public school system, but whether a school district or state wants to comply is a different matter. S.C. has a proven track record of shafting the neediest school districts and students (recent S.C. Supreme court decision on “minimally adequate education” as an example). So your argument that non-public schools are best placed to meet these needs is simply not true.

I am not opposed to choice but I want a pure market to decide. In other words, if public schools aren’t where parents want their kids to go, then it’s up to them to fork out the dough and send them to private schools. There should be absolutely ZERO public funds of any kind finding their way to private schools…period!

Purple Rain March 10, 2015 at 10:51 pm

Some parents cannot afford it, thus the reason for that scholarship fund that the more wealthy families can contribute to. I understand your way of thinking, but I horribly disagree – you are not entitled to one dime of my money.

Public schools are funded via property taxes, I don’t see any mention of reducing property taxes. Last I checked, we pay enough in property taxes via homes/business to afford several students to go to a public school, yet I home school.

I am not complaining about funding public schools, however, why would you be so opposed to someone getting a tax break to help the poor?

Very interesting choice of words and definition “I want a pure market to decide. In other words, if public schools aren’t where parents want their kids to go, then it’s up to them to fork out the dough and send them to private schools”

Limbaughsaphatkhunt March 10, 2015 at 11:02 pm

Home schooling is an excellent example of what I’m talking about. It doesn’t matter by what method public school funding is collected (prop. tax for instance), what matters is that each student enrolled in public school has a dollar amount attached to them. When students start disappearing from public schools through these types of initiatives, then legislators can then argue that public schools need less money. So they get less money and deliver poorer results. It’s not my problem if parents are too poor to send their kid to a private school. What do you say to your kids when they want a pair of Nike Air Jordan limited edition Chicago Bulls collector high tops for $1100 but you only have enough for a pair of Chuck Taylor All Stars? Are you expecting a tax credit or scholarship fund for sneakers? Look, if a scholarship fund exists that is managed entirely by private donations…I’ve got no problems with that but using tax credits or vouchers is in essence using MY tax dollars to send kids away from public schools and into private schools.

It’s a slow drip cycle towards defunding public schools, which is the aim of these right wing nut jobs. S.C. is one of the worst states across a gigantic range of measures (education included). You name it.. and we’re probably either last or close to last. Yet, people here keep voting for R’s year in and year out like clock work. It boggles the mind.

Just out of curiosity, why do you home school?

Purple Rain March 10, 2015 at 11:12 pm

I home school because SC ranks so low in education, I want better. I do use Common Core. My daughter is also probably the youngest kid in her class, I could have gotten a waiver due to when her birth day is, but she is really too smart and I pushed her ahead. I also want to make sure she is safe, in this area I hear parents complaining constantly about bullying issues. I know I can’t protect her forever, but I can give her a good foundation to work with.

I don’t EVER see them lowering property taxes. There has been this big scare in my area by legislators, threatening they need to close down schools or raise property taxes and this is AFTER they raised them within the past year.

I see the above proposal as an opportunity to reduce class size, an opportunity for those in poor districts to get a better education. The smaller the class size, the easier it is for children to get the individual attention they need to excel. I also see it as an opportunity for teacher to be better paid.

I will tell you since I started homeschooling, my respect for teachers has dramatically improved. At one time I thought they were grossly overpaid, they get all this time off and short days. Sounds like a dream job. HOWEVER, when you are in their seat, trying to prepare for the next days lesson, listening to the meltdowns of “I hate school. It’s stupid. ” and so on as kids do, when they would much rather be playing. I cannot imagine having a classroom of 30 kids that aren’t even mine – ohmigosh! :)

Limbaughsaphatkhunt March 10, 2015 at 11:21 pm

I am a parent of two school aged kids myself and I feel your pain on the bullying front but we can’t even get our elected reps to pass a criminal domestic violence bill. Hell, we still fly the rebel flag on the state house grounds…and they’re proud of it. Imagine a whole society built around the forced subjugation of another human being through violence still being revered today. My point being that there are tools to effectively address bullying in schools but our reps won’t or can’t go there. Parents and educators don’t get the support they need from school boards right up to the governor’s office.

Apart from that, all of the benefits you mentioned can be achieved in a public school setting and it’s nice to hear that you have a healthy respect for teachers that are constantly coming under attack by anyone from Fox News, to Fits News and all sorts inbetween.

My best advice is to flee the Titanic that is S.C. You could throw a dart on the map of the US and just about land anywhere better than here.

Purple Rain March 10, 2015 at 11:26 pm

At the risk of giving away too much information, I also have a child who has already graduated. I experienced firsthand what the best rated SC schools can do.

I’ve kind of fled educationally speaking – K12 is an internationally based school and should I decide when she gets older to make changes, they also have Virtual Private Schools. ;)

Purple Rain March 11, 2015 at 7:16 am

I am not a fan of the CDV bill, unless they change divorce laws, then I would support it.

As for the rebel flag. I did not grow up in SC, but both my children born here and it’s home now, so my opinion isn’t as weighted as someone who did, or so I have been told ;) However, I really don’t care for that rebel flag. To me it is a reminder of a horrible time in history for all. Why wave it around. I know some claim it to be a part of SC heritage, but that is like being in an abusive relationship and uprighting a statue in your front yard as a reminder. I would just burn everything that reminded me of that abusive relationship so that I could put it in the past.

truthmonger March 11, 2015 at 9:43 am

Forgetting the past damns you to repeating it…. perhaps not in the same form, but in similar concept/ content. That is true in both personal relationships and society as a whole. Besides, we should never allow any group to define symbology the way we have in the recent past.

Purple Rain March 11, 2015 at 9:55 am

When I see that rebel flag, I immediately think redneck…LOL. Each to their own.

truthmonger March 11, 2015 at 9:38 am

I attended a private school. My parents sacrificed to provide me that opportunity. I don’t believe it is appropriate for public money to fund private education.

Purple Rain March 11, 2015 at 9:54 am

Is it appropriate for public money to fund churches? They do have that non-exempt status. Is it appropriate for them to provide tax credits for child care? I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but no one seems to want to talk about public funds when used in a way they agree with, it’s tax credits and deductions that seem to be in question here.

Your parents also paid an education tax via property taxes I assume, yet they didn’t take advantage of that great public school system we have?

Mom March 11, 2015 at 11:59 am

There is no “Education Tax”! ALL property owners pay property tax regardless of whether they have children or not.

Purple Rain March 11, 2015 at 12:16 pm

True, but look on your property tax bill, you will see how much of that property tax is allocated to education.

Purple Rain March 11, 2015 at 12:28 pm

How do our public schools get funded? This is an older doc, but I can’t imagine the breakdown is much different today, but if it is that important after I take my daughter to the doctor today, I will dig for a better source.

They don’t call it an “education tax” but, it is built in as a tax for education :)

http://www.scrgfoundation.org/files/SCRGPublicSchoolLayout.pdf

Tom March 11, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Public money should not fund churches and it does not. We allow a tax deduction for charitable contributions. Churches have to make the case they are a charity. There are rules to be a charity. Churches are not taxes on their income under that violates the separation of church and state and freedom of religion. I am not sure I agree with that, but I understand the point.
I do not agree with a tax credits for child care. I think if the state wants to provide child care for working parents it should set up a program to do that. We already do it for most of the day anyway for most of the children. Its called school.

Tangerine March 11, 2015 at 1:20 pm

At least you are consistent. IF all those tax credits/deductions were taken out – I doubt you and I would be having this conversation right now :)

Tom March 11, 2015 at 1:42 pm

I know that response was difficult to follow. I should not have tried to respond on the small keyboard of an Iphone.

Mom March 11, 2015 at 11:56 am

I am a parent who sacrificed to send my children to private schools too. And I REGRET it. Even the most expensive private schools do not have the resources that a mediocre public school has. Parents should have the choice of private school but it is wrong to expect taxpayers to pay for it.

Bible Thumper March 11, 2015 at 12:48 am

Hahaha haha hahaha. And you think right wing conservatives are nuts.

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Jack March 11, 2015 at 1:26 pm

There are a few who are not.

I have poor taste March 10, 2015 at 10:41 pm

Why was a photo of Tango’s mom used for this story?

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The bar is low, March 11, 2015 at 8:57 am

but the lulz are high.

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Purple Rain March 11, 2015 at 10:00 am

This is like one of those George Carlin jokes, you can’t help but laugh and then feel bad about it – not for GT but the girl in the pic.

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Chocolate Rain March 11, 2015 at 11:26 am

Don’t be a killjoy. Guilt subdues happiness.

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Toyota Kawaski March 12, 2015 at 8:44 am

“you can’t help but laugh and then feel bad about it” That about sums up how a feel about you voucher clowns.

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snickering March 11, 2015 at 1:15 am

What Hog Wash-The duly elected Politicians are “SPECIAL”. Get it SPECIAL.

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Purple Rain March 11, 2015 at 10:22 am

Some of us are trying to lift up those with special needs, and focus on special they are.

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Toyota Kawaski March 11, 2015 at 8:55 am

Yes sir Mr. Rich been way to long, Yes sir I miss you as well, Yes sir the ass hairs on your head are filling in nice, Yes sir you are my only Yankee Lover, Yes sir Im still pulling for Ohio state and wear sweaters of a sport no one cares about.

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truthmonger March 11, 2015 at 9:15 am

So, government shouldn’t subsidize private industry EXCEPT when…. it’s education?

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Point of Order March 11, 2015 at 9:18 am

Depends on how it’s structured. If it’s a personal tax deduction it’s not a subsidization.

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Purple Rain March 11, 2015 at 9:37 am

A lot of fuss over a very little amount of money in the big picture….

The government collects your taxes, then uses those taxes as incentive to promote their special interests. For example, NCLB and Common Core. If the states don’t buy into it, they don’t get the money. Same with Medicaid, DUI Laws, and various other causes.

Taxes are ridiculously high, we went from the first 3% income tax, to the highest tax bracket of roughly 40% FG, then there are state taxes, permits, DMV fees, sales taxes, personal and property taxes, the list goes on and on. A lot of these taxes are collected as “fees” but they are nothing more a tax with a different name, for example a hunting license.

IF we are forced to pay these taxes, shouldn’t there be more individual choice? It is a diverse society, I am sure we can co-exist and make “some” compromises.

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