Today in Indianapolis, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is expected to unveil the Trump Administration’s plans to significantly expand school choice. The speech is to be delivered at the annual summit of the American Federation for Children, an organization DeVos formerly chaired.
According to insiders, the plan is expected to be a tax credit scholarship proposal. It would allow individuals and corporations to donate to a scholarship organization in exchange for tax credits. The proposal would likely be part of the President’s broader tax reform initiative.
If tax credits are the preferred vehicle, that will represent a win over vouchers, Education Savings Accounts and charter schools. The main advantage of a tax credits is that they involve no government money. Hence there are no questions of government entanglement and accountability. On the negative side, since the programs rely on private and corporate contributions, they usually take a longer time to scale up and would likely involve some form of means testing.
According to EdChoice.org, Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program is the largest such program in the country. The program provides scholarships with an average value of $5,476 to approximately 98,000 children.