February
10th 2011
Opponent Arguments Batted Down, HB 1048 Stuck in Legislative Sausage Maker

Posted under Education Politics & Homeschooling & Independence Institute & Parents & PPC & Private Schools & Research & School Choice & School Finance & State Legislature & Teachers

A few weeks ago I told you about the “voucher bogeyman” fearmongering around Colorado House Bill 1048 (PDF) — which would provide non-refundable tax credits to parents or donors supporting a student’s private school tuition or home education. (And therefore, not a “subsidy” as was headlined and reported with a strong anti-choice slant on the Denver Post‘s blog. To expound further by quoting from said post might get me in legal trouble, and I’m too young to be able to afford a lawyer.)

Well, the bill finally got a hearing yesterday afternoon before the House Finance Committee. A fairly long one. And ultimately an indecisive one. Education News Colorado has the best account I’ve seen:

After dark had fallen and the witness list was exhausted, [committee chair Rep. Brian] DelGrosso said, “I think we have raised several questions” and that “trying to piecemeal some amendments might not be the wisest decision.”

“I’m going to lay it over a couple of weeks,” he told [bill sponsor Rep. Spencer] Swalm. “Maybe you can give the committee a couple of different options.”

So now it’s time to hurry up and wait again. I’m learning that’s just sometimes how it goes in the big people’s sausage maker known as the legislative process.

Down at the Capitol my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow was one of more than a dozen who testified. Among other things, he pointed out his research from the Citizens’ Budget that showed how a similar tuition tax credit program would save a lot of money for the state (vindicated by the fine work of legislative fiscal analyst Natalie Mullis) as well as for local school districts. The response from bill opponents at the Colorado Education Association to this well-founded argument?

The bill’s sponsors are trying to sell the bill as a way to save the state money. Really.

Yes. Really. (Maybe as a 5-year-old, some might think I ought to respond with something equivalent, like sticking out my tongue and saying, “Are too!” But I’m above that sort of thing.)

In addition to highlighting the favorable research on the impacts of private school choice programs, Ben also responded to another claim brought forward by CEA’s lobbyist straight from their blog:

We oppose HB 1048 because we do not believe in using public dollars for private and religious schools.

Then what about the millions of dollars Colorado public schools spend each year on “tuition paid to private schools or non-approved agencies”? Maybe that’s not such a big deal after all. Maybe it’s the fact that parents get to choose how the money is spent that some find so disturbing.

Giving families more choices (and promising ones at that) and saving money for the state and local schools. Some might even call that a no-brainer.

8 Comments »

8 Responses to “Opponent Arguments Batted Down, HB 1048 Stuck in Legislative Sausage Maker”

  1. Tweets that mention Ed is Watching » Opponent Arguments Batted Down, HB 1048 Stuck in Legislative Sausage Maker -- Topsy.com on 10 Feb 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Education Policy Ctr, weevils ats. weevils ats said: Opponent Arguments Batted Down, HB 1048 Stuck in Legislative Sausage Maker http://bit.ly/eQgZg6 [...]

  2. Blinded by the hype on 12 Feb 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Florida found vouchers unconstitutional.

  3. Ben on 14 Feb 2011 at 11:17 am #

    But Florida also has the largest private school tax credit program in the nation. And that’s what Colorado HB 1048 proposes. As I highlighted in my testimony, a 2010 Northwestern University study found positive competitive impacts on Florida public schools from the tax credit program.

  4. Ed is Watching » Momentum Growing to Expand Private School Choice in Many States in 2011 on 18 Feb 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    [...] I’m a bit partial, but it seems like Colorado’s HB 1048 tuition tax credit legislation should be added to the list, too. While it faces a steep and uphill [...]

  5. GoBash.org » Blog Archive » U.S. Supreme Court Makes GOOD Decision for Education Tax Credits, Parental Choice on 05 Apr 2011 at 12:45 pm #

    [...] for Colorado. State lawmakers here are considering the K-12 tax credit choice program in House Bill 1048. This Friday the House Appropriations Committee has the opportunity to make another GOOD decision [...]

  6. Ed is Watching » New Figlio Study Shows Real Learning Gains for Florida Tax Credit Students on 31 Aug 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    [...] it’s a good time for Colorado lawmakers to take a closer look at enacting an education tax credit program that provides clear cost savings, improves public school performance through competition, and gives [...]

  7. Ed is Watching » Don’t Bet Against Nevada, Gov. Sandoval Breaking Through on School Choice on 14 Nov 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    [...] legislature gave some hope of at least moving the conversation forward on tuition tax credits, with House Bill 1048. Given the way it was treated in the legislative sausage-maker, it’s hard to see a clear path [...]

  8. Ed is Watching » Charter School Paradox Makes Case For Adding Private Educational Choice on 28 Aug 2012 at 11:17 pm #

    [...] example. So where’s Colorado on the issue? Last year’s attempt (HB 1048) got stuck in the sausage maker and [...]

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