Vicki Alger

Give Children a Path out of Failing Schools

Posted on January 27, 2012 | Author: Vicki Alger
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To celebrate National School Choice Week, the Goldwater Institute is highlighting five key areas of education reform. Today's focus is tax-credit scholarship programs. For more information about the Institute's groundbreaking work in this area, visit our Education Reform page.

Right now in Arizona more than 94,000 students are attending “D” schools, or schools that have chronically poor academic performance.

Rather than waiting for bureaucratic wheels to turn and their schools to improve, these children deserve an out. Arizona already has a pathway for them – it just needs to be widened a bit to give more children a chance.

That path is Arizona’s tax-credit scholarship program, which more than 31,000 low-income, special needs, and foster students are already using to attend private schools.

The proposal now working its way through the state legislature would allow couples to donate up to $2,000 (instead of $1,000) toward the scholarships, and would extend scholarship eligibility to children of military personnel. Moreover, anything couples donate over $1,000 would go specifically to students using the program for the first time.

These changes could help more kids escape failing schools and get on the path to academic success.

No child’s education should be limited by his family’s income or address. Expanding Arizona’s scholarship tax credit program just makes good sense for children.

Vicki (Murray) Alger, Ph.D., is President and CEO of Vicki Murray & Associates, LLC, a Phoenix-based education research and services company. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum in Washington, D.C., and a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California, where she is completing a book on the history of the U.S. Department of Education.

Learn More:

Arizona Department of Education: 2010-2011 A-F Letter Grades for All Schools

Arizona Department of Education: The New A-F School Accountability Letter Grade System

Arizona State Legislature: S.B. 1048

Harvard University: An Analysis of Arizona Individual Income Tax-credit Scholarship Recipients’ Family Income, 2009-10 School Year

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