Greg Runs Up More Style Points in 2013

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

This one slipped past me but not the eagle-eyes at School Reform News- Missouri joins the school choice fraternity with a tax credit for special needs children. If I have the count correct the record for 2013 now looks like:

Alabama new tax credit programs

Arizona ESA expansion

Indiana voucher program expansion

Indiana tax credit program expansion

Iowa tax credit expansion

Missouri special needs tax credit program

North Carolina statewide low/middle-income voucher

North Carolina special needs voucher

Ohio new statewide low-income voucher

South Carolina new tax credit program

Utah special needs voucher program funding increase and formula funding

Wisconsin voucher program expansion

That looks like three new states: Alabama, Missouri and South Carolina along with some important program improvements/new programs and big goings on in North Carolina. Although there could be spirited debate about the best year for school choice before 2011, the top three years ever are clearly 2011, 2012 and 2013 (not necessarily in that order).

UPDATE: J. Bedrick notes in the comments that the Missouri tax credit language did not ultimately pass, but a similarily named piece did pass in a way confusing to both the newspapers and thus me. Sadly, an anti-BOOOOM.

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7 Responses to Greg Runs Up More Style Points in 2013

  1. Jason Bedrick says:

    For the record, South Carolina’s scholarship tax credit program is a very small pilot (like 0.1% of the student population small) for students with special needs only.

    http://heartland.org/newspaper-article/2013/07/24/south-carolina-tries-school-choice

  2. Jason Bedrick says:

    False alarm. James Shuls from the Show-Me Institute says that the original special-needs scholarship tax credit bill didn’t pass. A part of it was stuck into another bill and they’re using the same name (“Bryce’s Law”), which is confusing because this version does not contain a tax credit or any funding mechanism whatsoever. All it does is say that the Dept. of Education should solicit scholarships (which they could have done even in absence of this legislation).

    Here’s the “funding” language: “The Department must also actively seek financial resources in the form of grants and donations that may be devoted to scholarship funds or clinical trials for behavioral interventions that may be undertaken.”

    Here’s the legislation: http://www.senate.mo.gov/13info/BTS_Web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=16944735

    Looks like our good friends at Heartland made a mistake.

  3. Matthew Ladner says:

    Oooops…I so did I and so did the Saint Louis paper!

  4. Jason Bedrick says:

    The paper didn’t technically make a mistake, though what they wrote was somewhat confusing:

    “The measure requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to seek grants and donations to be used for the scholarships. … Initially, the proposal was for a voucher-like initiative that would offer state tax credits for charitable contributions to provide scholarships for children to attend private centers. The revised version was added to a broader education measure this year.”

    The article explains what the program was “initially” but doesn’t clarify that it was significantly modified.

    Plus headline blaring “Nixon signs Mo. special-needs scholarships” makes it seem like something much more significant actually happened.

  5. Greg Forster says:

    That’s all a cover-up to avoid reporting the real story, which was too embarrassing for the state pride of the local press corps: Hazing is pretty tough in “the school choice fraternity,” and Missouri just couldn’t hack it. So disappointing!

  6. Joy Pullmann says:

    Yes, we have a reporter working on the MO switcheroo, so more in a few days.

  7. […] (figures from the Friedman Foundation). So far this year looks on track to mimic 2012, withthree new choice states and eight expansions. The growth is significant, but AEI’s Rick Hess suggests Common Core has become a […]

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