Education tax credit is a flawed proposal
The governor’s proposal to provide an educational tax credit for those contributing to public and private (including parochial) schools is bad policy. Providing financial aid, directly or indirectly, to religious schools violates the constitutional separation of church and state.
This legislation would give a significant tax advantage that accrues primarily to wealthy donors. It provides disproportionate influence to people of means, thus distorting the democratic principles of public school funding.
The EIT proposal implicitly acknowledges the inadequate funding of public school education in New York. It would divert money from the tax stream and send it to favored schools, scholarships and other programs, including religious programming, without public oversight.
If only the energy behind this proposal could be directed toward the fair funding that the New York State Constitution guarantees to every New York student, public education would be better served.
The Rev. Richard S. Gilbert
President, Interfaith Impact of New York State