Utah is having a difficult enough time trying to figure ways to balance its budget without teachers muddying the waters with misrepresentations. Tony Romanello's comments on Jan. 9 were irresponsible and misleading.
The state pays about $4,000 for each child enrolled in public school. He states that a tax credit of $2,000 for each student who withdraws from public school will harm public education. His math: If 50 students withdraw from his school, it will cost the school $200,000. This will necessitate a reduction of two teachers, which will save the school $130,000 in salary and benefits, but there will still be a net loss of $70,000 . . . so he says.
What he doesn't tell you is that the tuition tax credit bill will leave about $1,000 from the state with the schools for every child who withdraws. Also, local property taxes contribute about $1,000 for each child enrolled. These dollars stay with the schools. So let's do my math and add back $1,000 from the state and $1,000 from the local property taxes: 50 students withdrawing x $2,000 = $100,000. $100,000 - $70,000 is a net gain of $30,000, not a loss of $70,000. Not bad.