ERIC Number: ED474819
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Mar-4
Reference Count: N/A
Who Gets the Credit? Who Pays the Consequences? The Illinois Tuition Tax Credit. Special Report.
Pathak, Arohi; Keenan, Nancy
In 1999, Illinois enacted a tuition tax credit program. Tax credit supporters suggest tax credits help low-income students. However, opponents argue that they disproportionately benefit higher-income families whose children are already attending private schools and may decrease already limited resources available to public schools. New data from the 2001 tax year reveal that the main beneficiaries of the tuition tax credit law are the most affluent taxpayers. Nearly half of all tax credit dollars flow to taxpayers with annual incomes over $80,000. Fewer than 3 percent of the tuition tax credit dollars go to the state's poorest families. This report explains how the Illinois tuition tax credit works and where the dollars go, asserting that the law worsens the financial problems of public schools. It notes that the program lacks accountability, since the academic quality of private or parochial schools that students attend with tax credit assistance cannot be determined. While public schools are required to administer and report on standardized tests, private schools are not required to follow these rules. They also do not have to abide by rules and state laws that govern financial and other forms of accountability. (Contains 34 endnotes.) (SM)
Descriptors: Accountability, Educational Equity (Finance), Elementary Secondary Education, Low Income Groups, Private Schools, Public Schools, School Choice, State Legislation, Tax Credits, Tuition
People for the American Way, 2000 M Street, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-467-4999; Web site: http://www.pfaw.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: People for the American Way, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Illinois