Last Friday, Gov. Janet Napolitano signed an $8.2 billion budget, but she failed to sign a corporate scholarship tuition tax credit because it did not include a five-year sunset provision.
Politics aside, allowing businesses to make scholarship donations is good policy that brings opportunity to thousands of low-income children waiting for scholarships.
In 2003, Arizona School Choice Trust, one of 53 non-profit scholarship organizations, reported having 2,000 children on its waiting list. Their families' median household income was less than $30,000, about 30 percent below the state average, and 70 percent of those children had been waiting for three or more years.
As many as 1,500 low-income children would receive scholarships to private schools under the negotiated $5 million program. What do tax credit scholarships do for families? Ask Tucson mother Sonia Terraza. She says tuition tax credit scholarships helped her family get "started in meeting our goal of providing our children a better education that will enable them to become the future citizens that will lead our nation."
Some politicians may want to stop businesses from supporting scholarships over a sunset clause, but to a child in need, "losing everything is like the sun going down on me."