You may have heard old adages like “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” and “Familiarity breeds contempt.” Well, here comes the young whippersnapper again, questioning longstanding wisdom. When it comes to tax credits for private school choice, I have to say the old adages just don’t work. So the Cato Institute’s Jason Bedrick points out on a new posting.
Bedrick looks at states with scholarship tax credit (STC) programs before 2010 that later expanded those programs. He compares eight legislative votes in four different states, before and after, and finds that the vote margin grew significantly and dramatically in all but one case. The Cato analyst concludes:
There have not yet been any studies measuring whether support in a given state increases after enacting an STC program, but if legislative support is a reliable proxy then the answer appears to be in the affirmative.
Both Bedrick’s post and my Education Policy Center friends’ paper A Scholarship Tax Credit Program for Colorado point to the recent Harvard survey that found 72 percent of voters support the idea. So the argument based on the legislative votes makes sense. When it comes to STC programs, presence makes the heart grow fonder. And familiarity breeds approval.
Then again, why wouldn’t more people support it? Especially as they learn how scholarship tax credits would help Colorado Kids Win! A popular program that offers more opportunities for low- and middle-income kids, while making more money available for each student who remains in public schools. Sounds more like a “Win-Win” to me! Or should I say “Win-Win-Win”?
Watch the video to learn more and see if you agree: