DEBUNKING THE MYTHS SURROUNDING SCHOLARSHIP TAX CREDITS
MYTH: Scholarship Tax Credits are a backdoor voucher program.
FACT: Scholarship Tax Credits use ONLY private money to assist students to attend nonpublic schools.
Scholarship Tax Credits incentivize the private sector to donate to qualified scholarship granting organizations which distribute scholarships to families based on financial need.
Voucher programs use taxpayer-funded tuition assistance for families to send their children to nonpublic schools. Unlike vouchers, Scholarship Tax Credits allow individuals and businesses to generate privately-funded scholarships for low- and middle-income families.
MYTH: Scholarship Tax Credits will harm public schools.
FACT: 31 out of 33 empirical studies found that public schools have improved academically in school choice states.
Over half the states have adopted school choice policies, including 18 states that have Scholarship Tax Credit programs.
MYTH: Scholarship Tax Credits will only benefit the rich.
FACT: SB 36 and HB 134 ONLY help low- and middle-income families.
Scholarship granting organizations (SGOs) use an independent service to establish financial need of applicants. Under the proposed legislation, approved SGOs award needs-based scholarships to families to find a nonpublic school that best fits their needs.
Developmentally disabled students can use the scholarships for nonpublic schools or to help cover costs of other educational services such as occupational therapy.
MYTH: Scholarship Tax Credits are not fiscally responsible.
FACT: Scholarship Tax Credits have a net positive outcome on the state budget.
Scholarship Tax Credits are funded by private citizens and shift education costs to private institutions. It does not cost the taxpayer a dime.
MYTH: Scholarship Tax Credits do not improve academic outcomes.
FACT: Scholarship Tax Credits improve academic outcomes for public and nonpublic schools.
Studies show increased graduation rates and college attendances for students who are assisted by Scholarship Tax Credits. Scholarship Tax Credits are also proven to improve public school outcomes. Of 18 empirical studies, 14 found a positive impact on outcomes in public education where a school choice program exists.
MYTH: Scholarship Tax Credits take funding from public schools.
FACT: Scholarship Tax credits will alleviate costs, on a per-pupil basis, for Kentucky’s school districts.
A Scholarship Tax Credit program relies entirely on private donations. A Scholarship Tax Credit program will not result in cutting the state’s education budget, but could save the state as much as $2 million. See this study to learn how school districts in other states have saved money.
MYTH: Wealthy Kentuckians can turn a profit by donating to Scholarship Granting Organizations.
FACT: House Bill 134 expressly prohibits donors from receiving more back on their federal and state taxes than their contribution to a scholarship program.
Donors contribute to the common good by donating funds to families so that they can receive the best education possible.