In light of the Kansas budget situation, officials ought to consider an option that will save the money over the long run: make it easier for students to attend private schools through enacting a voucher or tax credit program.
“What does that have to do with anything?,” you may ask. A lot. Yes, some private schools charge more in tuition each year than a local school district will spend. But those are the exceptions. Private schools as a rule spend less.
One tax credit program in effect is in Florida, where companies get a tax credit for education-related donations. Give money to a non-profit organization that gives scholarships to help students attend a private school, and get a tax credit. Students get another option for education, and taxpayer benefit: One official report in Florida says: “We estimate that in Fiscal Year 2007-08, taxpayers saved $1.49 in state education funding for every dollar loss in corporate income tax revenue due to credits for scholarship contributions.”
Would such a program work in Kansas? The actual amount of the cost savings depends on a variety of factors, but the idea is certainly worth exploring.