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What to do about school choice in Utah and the volatile issue of tuition tax credits? It’s a dilemma primarily because so many respected mainstream educators oppose implementing something they believe will adversely affect the public schools and the children of Utah.
Yet, the results of a new independent study by researchers at Utah State University and Southern Utah University suggest otherwise. If their complex model is correct, offering tuition tax credits for private school tuition could free up a significant amount of money for public education – as much as $1.3 billion over 13 years. Such a claim is impressive, but is it valid? And even if it were, would the adoption of tuition tax credits be good for Utah?
As the researchers themselves said, “to make that judgment requires a fuller debate regarding the educational or individual freedom benefits that may be associated with (potential) legislation.”
The debate in coming months is sure to be intense. Included should be a discussion of implementing tuition tax credits on a limited basis as a market test to actually see how public education is affected.
As KSL has said before, tuition tax credits should be offered only if it can be done without undermining the financial stability of the public school system.