The report of the recent Dan Jones & Associates poll on tuition tax credits sheds very little light on the funding needs of education in our state.
Opponents to a Universal Tuition Tax Credit (UTTC) would have us believe that the UTTC would reduce public school funding. But with tuition tax credits, public school funding would only decline in total dollars if total enrollment declined, and that would be an very strong indication that parents feel there is a better alternative available to them.
There is a coming wave of new school enrollment. That is a given. The question remains how Utah can best address the coming demand for significantly more school capacity. The future needs must be met either by increased taxes or by some alternative that includes private sources of funding.
I would like to see Dan Jones ask these questions:
1. Would you support a Universal Tuition Tax Credit that could motivate more private funding of education while also increasing the per-child funding available to public schools?
2. To handle the significant need for more schools in Utah, which would you prefer:
a. Increased property tax rates?
b. Increased income taxes?
c. Increased private funding of education?
I think such a poll might better reflect a thoughtful response from the public.
Many who have a vested interest in the status quo of the public school system seem more interested in protecting the institution of public schools than in doing what is best for families and children.
Gaylord K. Swim