Writing at NRO UVA’s sharp Adam Schaeffer (currently on loan to I’m Rick Hess Bi*ch over at AEI) makes an interesting point about the FL voucher decision. Schaeffer thinks the age of vouchers may be ending in favor of the age of education tax credits. He might be right, and that’s a shame. Despite their problems, vouchers do at least put money in the hands of poor people and let them make a decision. Tax policy in general is a much weaker lever to accomplish the same goal.
To be fair, Schaeffer is touting tax credit funded choice programs like Florida’s Corporate Tax Credit which gives businesses a dollar for dollar tax credit for money they contribute to private school programs run by non-profits. But these programs reopen the issue of essentially using public resources to fund schools with varying degrees of publicness rather than a common framework.
Eduwonk’s been hoping that some of the problems with vouchers meant that they were in fact a stalking horse for more charter-like arrangements. If indeed, pace Schaeffer, they’re paving the way for tax credits of various kinds then that’s a step back not forward on the equity front.