Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Scholarship tax-credit bill advances In Maryland

This is from a few days ago, but still relevant.A scholarship tax-credit bill is making its way through the Maryland General Assembly.
The Senate gave preliminary approval yesterday to a bill that would allow businesses to receive $5 million in tax credits for sponsoring scholarships at private schools.

In about 30 minutes of often-contentious debate on the chamber floor, lawmakers struck down multiple attempts to water down or limit the bill, which opponents say amounts to a public subsidy of private schools.

Calling the bill a "sham" that will "chip away at public education in Maryland," Sen. Delores G. Kelley, a Baltimore County Democrat, urged her colleagues to defeat the measure.

But Baltimore Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden, a Democrat, said the proposal would benefit working-class parents who struggle to send their children to religious and other nonpublic schools. "If you call that a sham, I'm shamming for children today," he said.

Under the bill, businesses would receive an income tax credit for 75 percent of their contributions to nonprofit organizations that provide scholarships to students and teachers at private secondary schools.

The tax credit, which would be capped at $5 million a year, would also apply to donations made to certain public school programs, such as those that subsidize teachers' graduate schooling.
I am still not sure how this will pass in the current budget crunch, but encouraging community support for public and private education can't be a bad thing--can it?

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