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The Emergence of Tuition Tax Credits for Private Schooling

Kevin G. Welner

While school vouchers have captured the headlines, a different policy has captured the students. Tuition tax credit laws are now entrenched in Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Iowa, and Georgia, and they affect far more students. Yet few people understand the nature of these policies or the political and legal issues surrounding them. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the structure, legality, and policy implications of tuition tax credits, which have garnered only scant attention even while expanding to cover more students than the voucher policies they're designed to emulate. At a time when tax credit policies are becoming a major form of American school choice, this book offers insights into both the strengths and weakness of the approach. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 194Size: 6 1/4 x 9
978-0-7425-4079-8 • Hardback • September 2008 • $79.00 • (£52.95)
978-0-7425-4080-4 • Paperback • September 2008 • $32.00 • (£22.95)
978-0-7425-6581-4 • eBook • September 2008 • $75.00 • (£49.95)
Kevin G. Welner is associate professor of education and director of the Education and the Public Interest Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: "Something So Close to Vouchers"
Chapter 3: Preferring Preferences: Taxes as Policy Instruments
Chapter 4: Current Knowledge on the Nature and Effects of Tax Credit Voucher Policies
Chapter 5: Taxing the Establishment Clause: Exploring the Constitutional Issues
Chapter 6: Policy and Political Implications
Chapter 7: Future Prospects: Tinkering with Utopia
Chapter 8 Appendix: Tax Credit Voucher Statutes
A terrific book exposing how tuition tax credits-a voucher by another name-work to change education from a public to a private good, endangering democracy along the way. Welner masterfully explains how tuition tax credits hide state governments' increasing support for private and sectarian schools with public money. He provides a concise, clear, and scholarly description of what these policies are, how they got here, and the damage they do. Everything you wanted to know about why tuition tax credits are growing more common and more dangerous, written by one the nation's most credible scholars.
David C. Berliner, Regents' Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University

Tuition tax credits reveal their distinctive characteristics only when exposed to light shone from several different perspectives: the law, philosophy, and empirical research. Welner is one of the few persons capable of analyzing this movement to privatize public education from each of these points of view.
Gene V Glass, Regents' Professor, Arizona State University

A credible, overdue look at tax credit-based school choice programs. Welner's scholarship is exceptional and worth consideration....Recommended.
CHOICE, June 2009

NeoVouchers is the clearest treatment of tuition tax credits I have ever read. It is essential reading for anyone concerned with the future of educational reform and with the dangers that are associated with what has too often become conventional wisdom about how to do it.
Michael W. Apple, John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison; author,