Monday, March 28, 2011

Legislators Aim to Expand Educational Options and Opportunity

From the office of State Sen . Glenn Grothman:

Grothman, Jacque Offer Tax Credit Proposal for Increased Access to Independent and Religious Schools

Today, Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) and Representative Andre Jacque (R-Bellevue) announced they will be introducing legislation providing a non-refundable tax credit for religious and independent schools beginning in school year 2012-2013.   The credit will start at $1,500 per year for every first grade student and $2,500 for every ninth grade student.  The following year, second and tenth graders will be added to the program with additional years added each year until all students will be covered by the 2021 school year.
“With the government already subsidizing private education by up to $6,500 per year for Milwaukee residents, the proposal would offer assistance, albeit a lesser amount, for outstate parents who want an alternative to the public schools for their children,” said Grothman.  “Whether their concerns are Wisconsin’s declining test scores, a radical new sex education program pushed through the Legislature last year, or public school teachers proselytizing a liberal political agenda in their schools, it is unfair not to provide a little assistance to independent-minded parents.” 
“The taxpayers already provide over $12,000 per year per child in the government schools, so any parent who is persuaded to enroll their children in the private schools creates a huge tax savings for Wisconsin’s taxpayers,” said Grothman.
“As a proud supporter of charter school expansion, open enrollment for public schools, and non-public school choice it is very important to be consistent in offering families in my district, and across the state, access to the full range of educational alternatives.  When it comes to educational instruction, one type doesn’t fit all,” said Representative Jacque, further noting that the proposal would not reduce state public school funding.  “We should always look at enhancing our state educational offerings to benefit students,” added Jacque.
“Private school enrollment has declined in recent years in part because of the proliferation of 4-year-old kindergarten.  The current budget, which allows for a further expansion of 4-year-old kindergarten despite the state’s fiscal shape, will have a further negative impact on private school enrollment,” said Grothman. 
“This is a frugal and modest proposal that can make a dramatic impact.  Just this week, we’ve heard a bill dedicating $7,500 in government funds to parents who send their children to charter schools,” said Jacque.