How to smack down a clueless lefty re: school choice tax credits

I had a bit of an online discussion with one of those progressive leftists “FOR THE CHILDREN” types who just doesn’t understand the economics of school choice/tax credits and the benefits to children when freedom is applied to education.   Prompted this post, which captures my replies to her.

I’ll preface with this:
Two things are paramount to success in any American venture:
1. When Americans use their own earned monies and invest it themselves, the opportunity to realize their full potential is the greatest. This is true whether the arena is education or business.
2. Having options, or competition, provides a better product overall. This is also true whether the arena is education or business.

I see there are some who do not understand tax credits, and the fact that claiming tax credits do not deplete any public funding. ANY. … The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in ACSTO v. Winn declares that money spent and claimed as a credit against one’s taxes is private money, not government spending. Other taxpayers aren’t harmed by the choice of those claiming credits because the government isn’t spending collective tax revenue. In other words, the taxpayer, not the state, is presumed to own the fruits of his own labor.


Here’s a bit more data. I know that often people take a wide look at this issue without digging in to the specifics of the actual funding sources so let me provide some … There are 211 different funding sources that make up the $11,754 per student in South Carolina (recent $ amount may have budged). It’s based on input such as percentage of poverty in a county. Some are million dollar grants that don’t depend on any particular number of students either in a school or a county. From the averages of $4,834 state, $1,215 federal and $5,705 local, most of that money is apportioned to the schools NOT BASED on enrollment at all! Not even on countywide enrollment. A minuscule amount is actually apportioned to a school based on actual students enrolled in that particular school. So MOST of the money currently apportioned to a school STAYS in the school even if a student chooses to migrate to a school their family chooses as better for that student than their current government run school.

If … let’s just pick a percentage … if 70% (and the reality is higher) of money stays in the public school if a student leaves because their parents are taking advantage of a tax credit … using their own earned money to educate their children, not public money according to the US Supreme Court … and there are 20 students in the classroom. One leaves, leaving 70% of allocated public funding in that classroom, because those allocations are not based on actual students enrolled … there is an immediate increase in the money available to the other 19 students.

Because 70% of those allocated funds stayed in the classroom even though 1 student left. It’s like pie – if there are 8 pieces of pie, and 8 students, but one person’s mom packed a lunch, those other 7 students get a little bit more pie because one student’s family provide for their child out of their own pocket!

That’s the beauty of the tax credit! People have become like automatons mindless repeating the years of same old served up sound bites without doing a lick of their own research. Into funding sources. Into whether a US Supreme Court decision covers all states or just one state. No research into how much money stays in classroom for what reasons. No critical thinking at all.

In ACSTO v. Winn the US Supreme Court ruled that the government cannot make any claims or assumptions that they are entitled to private monies … EVEN IF they may have already designated it, or intended it for spending, say, for education. Until those monies are legally collected as taxes, they cannot be counted on as tax revenue. And under a sound school choice bill based on tax credits, South Carolina parents and organizations/business would have legally claimed a tax exemption on monies they earned, those monies never were the government’s or the education lobby’s monies to spend. So any talk about “taking public money out of our schools” should immediately and factually be dismissed as the unresearched nonsense it is.

Cross post from Spartanburg Tea Party