Education Tax Credits Still on the Table in Indiana

The Chicago Tribune reports today that education tax credits are still being pursued despite huge holes in Indiana state budgets … maybe because school choice saves money?

[Indiana] Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels’ budget proposal includes a scholarship tax credit that supporters say would give poor students the opportunity to attend private schools, but opponents say would open the door to vouchers.

Daniels’ budget proposal includes a 50 percent tax credit for donations to a nonprofit scholarship-granting organization that helps students from low-income families attend their choice of a private school or a public school outside their home district.

A couple of quick points.

I’m not sure how this would “open the door to vouchers,” since credits are an alternative form of school choice and obviate the need for vouchers.

Gov. Daniels should promote a 100% tax credit for donations, not a 50% credit. At the least, he can drop that to 90% like the successful Pennsylvania credit program. But 50% is simply too low to act as an effective catalyst for serious reform. And as we all know, its best to aim high at the start of negotiations so you have somewhere to go. He’s selling himself and his state short on this.