Legislation Requires Immediate Action!

March 4, 2019

HOUSE BILL 205 DOES NOT USE PUBLIC FUNDS. IT USES DONATIONS!

FROM ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT, DAVID KESSLER, CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY :

Public School Superintendents across the state, are out in full force against HB 205 (Scholarship Tax Credits).  Some of the claims they are making are outright falsehoods, such as claiming this is a scheme to allow rich families to get a tax break for sending their kids to a private school.  Truly wealthy families do not qualify, and nobody can designate their donations to specific students.  This is explicitly in the bill.

There are several other claims being circulated.  Below are some of the myths being circulated and our response. Opponents are also circulating emails. Please join us in correcting these falsehoods and setting the record straight. This is a program that provides parents with more choices without impacting public schools.  

Contact Your Representatives! ALL OF THE CONTACT INFO IS BELOW, BUT WE WANT YOU TO KNOW WHAT’S BEING SAID ABOUT HOUSE BILL 205.

 

WHAT’S TRUE AND FALSE ABOUT HB 205 AND SB 118.

 

FALSE: The real financial impact of scholarship tax credits is identical to the impact of vouchers.

TRUE: Scholarship Tax Credits are NOT vouchers. Vouchers utilize public funding. Scholarship Tax Credits on the other hand, allow state tax credits for private donors who give money to non-profit scholarship granting organizations.

 

FALSE: Any reduction in state general fund tax revenues, no matter the amount and no matter the purpose, will absolutely mean less money is available for the state portion of SEEK, which is critical to all students.

TRUE: SEEK money follows students and was actually increased per pupil in 2018. Independent fiscal analysis has consistently found that Scholarship Tax Credits saves states money by allowing individuals, businesses and non-profits to share in the cost of educating students.

 

FALSE: Any superintendent from a rural area that is declining in population and student enrollment will tell you that fewer students does NOT mean you somehow save money – the opposite happens, your fixed costs remain but your revenue declines.  

TRUE: A $25 million program would help approximately 7,000 students. There are over 650,000 students in the public-school system. Most of the impact would be felt in larger districts where there are more non-public schools with the capacity to serve students. There will not be a mass exodus from public schools and there would be time to adjust to the changes that do occur.

 

FALSE: Major, fundamental programs of student support are already woefully underfunded, such as textbooks, transportation, special education, etc.

TRUE: A Scholarship Tax Credit program will take absolutely no money away from public school funding. Scholarship Tax Credits will allow more students to attend a nonpublic school that works for them. School Choice programs exists in the majority of states. The vast majority of studies found that public schools have actually improved academically in states with school choice programs by helping families find the school that best fits their needs.

 

FALSE: The state needs every penny of general fund revenue currently coming in to adequately fund its moral and constitutional obligations to the system of public schools.

TRUE: Despite common misperceptions, independent fiscal analysis shows that Scholarship Tax Credits will have a net positive impact on Kentucky’s budget. Since the program is privately funded, education costs will be shifted to participating businesses and individuals.

 

FALSE: These bills would provide public financial support to nonpublic/sectarian education, which is a major legal issue under our state Constitution.

TRUE: Scholarship Tax Credits use only PRIVATE money to assist students to attend nonpublic schools, no public monies go to nonpublic schools. Scholarship Tax Credits have nearly a perfect record in the Courts for this reason.

 

FALSE: The governor and legislative leaders often cite the elimination of tax credits such as this as a critical component of comprehensive tax reform.

TRUE: Scholarship Tax Credits differ from other tax credits. This program is the only meaningful way that the General Assembly can provide families with a non-public school option. Scholarship Tax Credits give families the dignity of choice, save money, and improve academic outcomes.

 

JIM GLENN                        

502-564-8100 ext. 720

[email protected]

702 Capital Avenue

Annex Room 426A

Frankfort, Ky 40601

 

JIM GOOCH
502-564-8100 ext. 687

[email protected]

702 Capital Ave
Annex Room 376
Frankfort, KY 40601

 

SCOTT LEWIS

502-564-8100 ext. 627

[email protected]

702 Capital Ave
Annex Room 316A
Frankfort, KY 40601

 

SUZANNE MILES

502-564-2217

[email protected]

702 Capital Ave
Annex Room 370
Frankfort, KY 40601

 

ROB WIEDERSTEIN

502-564-8100 ext. 736

rob.wieders[email protected]

702 Capital Ave
Annex Room 451A
Frankfort, KY 40601