AUSTIN – The signing of a universal school choice law in Georgia should encourage Texas lawmakers to provide parents and students with more educational choices here, according to the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Yesterday, Gov. Sonny Perdue signed legislation that creates both individual and corporate tax credits for contributions to “Student Scholarship Organizations,” which are privately-run, non-profit organizations that award private school scholarships to children enrolled in Georgia public schools.
“There are nearly two dozen school choice programs operating across the country, with Georgia’s and Louisiana’s being open to all students,” said Foundation education policy analyst Brooke Dollens Terry. “They are observing what we did in the Edgewood ISD pilot here – school choice benefits both the children who exercise their school choice, and the children who remain in the public schools.”
Taxpayers are eligible for dollar-for-dollar income tax credits up to $1,000 for individuals; $2,500 for married couples filing jointly; and 75 percent of a corporation’s tax liability. Taxpayer contributions may not be earmarked to a particular child. There are no demographic restrictions on which students may be awarded scholarships, but the tax credits are capped at $50 million per year.
“Georgia is the latest state to embrace the idea that parents are better equipped than the public education lobby or government bureaucrats to select the best educational environment for their children,” Terry concluded. “Texas owes it to its families and its future to follow suit.”
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas. Additional research on school choice is available on the Foundation’s website, www.TexasPolicy.com.
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