Governor Pence’s legislative proposal is to remove the
current $4,800 cap on school vouchers. With the cap removed, families may still
only receive either 90% or 50% of what they would have received if their child
attended a traditional public school. So why does the other side keep painting
this proposal as a way to throw unlimited resources into the school voucher
program? Because it sounds scandalous and makes people who don’t know the facts
get angry. Let’s examine more facts.
This editorial also claims the Governor wants to “raise the
cap on private school tax credits.” In reality, what is being proposed is more
tax credits for Hoosiers- not private schools. Indiana’s Tax Credit Scholarship
program allows Hoosiers to donate their own money to help low-income families
pay for private school tuition. In return, these donations are eligible for a
50% state tax credit. The program is currently capped at $7.5M in tax credits,
which were nearly all claimed in 2014. The Governor’s proposal would increase
that cap, allowing more Hoosiers to donate to help low-income students attend a
school of their choice.
The Journal Gazette also claims “There is no independent
research to show that charter and voucher schools better serve students…”
However, a study out of the Brookings Institution and Harvard University
recently found “Minority students who received a school voucher to attend
private elementary schools in 1997 were, as of 2013, 10 percent more likely to
enroll in college and 35 percent more likely than their peers in public school
to obtain a bachelor’s degree.” Read the entire study here.