Education Tax Credits

Authored by: ADAM B. SCHAEFFER

Handbook of Research on School Choice

Print publication date:  April  2009
Online publication date:  May  2009

Print ISBN: 9780805862232
eBook ISBN: 9780203881781
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780203881781-34

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Abstract

Tax credits are often seen as equivalent to vouchers, and in many respects they are similar. Both vouchers and tax credits discount the cost of independent education for some or all families with school-aged children. Both opponents and proponents of private school choice therefore expect vouchers and education tax credits to have much the same effect on education. Although there is no research literature detailing the academic effects of tax credits, most real-world programs and recent proposals demonstrate substantial average financial savings at the state and local levels and a high degree of target efficiency when donation and personal-use credits are taken into account. Much of the research literature on tax credits in recent years has therefore addressed the differences between vouchers and tax credits. The research suggests that, in terms of legal viability and general political dynamics, education tax credits have substantial advantages over vouchers as a policy tool for effecting private school choice.

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