Private school parents deserve tax breaks. Aside from paying local property taxes, Americans also pay an additional school tax that is used only in the public schools’ education system. The government should offer parents of children attending private schools tax breaks or reimbursement vouchers since they do not use the district’s public schools. Many people feel that since private school parents make this decision on their own they shouldn’t be given any tax breaks; however, not all private school parents are rich and they too may still struggle to pay off the bills at the end of the month.
In 2008, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal initiated a debate about tax breaks for private school tuition. He presented a plan to the Legislature, where 50 percent of the private school tuition, up to $5,000, would be deducted from the families state income tax. This could save $60 to $300 per child in taxes for the family. Some fear that “this legislation may subsidize private schools at the expense of public school children,” however, if the government would give tuition vouchers it would open up more opportunities for low-income families to send their children to private schools.
Tax breaks or school vouchers are not only beneficial for parents who want to send their children to a parochial school, where their children will get a dual curriculum, learning both religious and general studies, but also for parents of differently abled children. Many parents, even though they may be financially struggling, need to put a child in a private institute for more personalized attention due to learning or social disabilities. It has been proven that children with ADD/ADHA, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities succeed more in private schools with trained teachers and the proper accommodations for their specific learning situations. Tax breaks can help more parents afford these private schools for their differently abled children.
The US government should pay more attention to school taxes and the strains it is putting on many families who are not even benefiting from them. Even though it’s a couple’s own decision to send their child to a private institution, some of their tax money should be returned or at least used towards their own child's education. As it remains now, private school parents are paying for two education bills yearly. One for their own child’s private school tuition and another for someone else’s child’s public school.
Since many will argue that rich people do not deserve tax breaks one solution is to create a system where the government makes an evaluation of each families income and distributes school vouchers accordingly. This income cap will give tax breaks to families who can not afford private schools but still want their children to attend one.
In 2004, Congress endorsed the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, a school-voucher program, in Washington, giving 1,700 students up to $7,500 in a voucher to help low-income families send their children to the school of their choice. This program has helped many children succeed and has given hope to brighter futures for children with learning disabilities.
However in 2009, President Barack Obama’s administration completely shut the program down. So on May 6th, 2009 parents and students assembled in Washington, D.C.'s Freedom Plaza to rally for their cause.
Mercedes Campbell, one of the students affected by the congressional Democrats backdoor legislature move to shut down the voucher system, voiced her support for the program at the rally and various other events. She was given the opportunity to attend a private school because of the voucher program but her younger sister and brother wont be able to have that choice. On Fox news, reporter Brit Hume said about Obama that by ending the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program “he would be signing a bill that would strip two poor kids of the educational opportunity his own children are enjoying.”
1. “Religious Education And School Taxes.” New York Times; 7th of August 2005, p13.http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=28703820&site=ehost-live
2.Paquette, Jerry. “Public Funding for "Private" Education: The Equity Challenge of Enhanced Choice.” American Journal of Education; Aug2005, Vol. 111 Issue 4, p568-595, 28P
3. Kennedy, Robert. “Schools For Learning Disabilities” Web.
4. Eggler, Bruce. “Fight possible over tax break for Private School Tuition.” The Times-Picayune: New Orleans Metro Real-Time News. March 08, 2008