The Schools We Deserve: Reflections on the Educational Crises of Our Times

By Diane Ravitch | Go to book overview

12
The Case of
Tuition Tax Credits

( 1984)

ON the surface, the issue of tuition tax credits is not complicated. On one side are defenders of the public schools, who fear that the egalitarian mission of public education will be jeopardized if states or the federal government permit tax deductions for private school tuition. On the other are champions of nonpublic education, who contend that public policy should provide tax incentives to encourage choice, pluralism, and diversity in schooling. Tax credits will foster competition and excellence, say the nonpublic school advocates. Tax credits will destroy the public schools, reply the public school partisans. The lines are drawn, and the battleground is the common school, that distinctively American institution.

Of course, political controversies are rarely as simple as they seem, and this issue is no exception. Each side clings

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