Issue: Last week, the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) sent an email calling on their supporters to contact Maryland leadership urging them to rebuff the Maryland Education Tax Credit (HB 1216/SB 844). Their convoluted message included misleading language, incomplete statements and downright errors.
Allow us to unpack some of the claims for you (direct quotes from the MSEA alert italicized):
It’s simply poor public policy to provide tax relief to wealthy corporations through a voucher scheme for private schools that are held to none of the standards of public schools and serve only a small number of our students.
- Any Maryland business can contribute to the Education Tax Credit, whether a pharmaceutical company or the mom-and-pop candy store down the road.
- The tax credit is precisely that - a tax credit. It is NOT a voucher program.
- When rewritten last fall, the bill addressed fiscal and academic accountability concerns.
HB 1216/SB 844 is modeled on the notorious BOAST bill, which has failed for six years in a row. If passed, the bills would divert $15 million of tax revenue for a poorly conceived voucher program. This legislation would add to the fiscal difficulties faced by the state and local governments while ignoring the continuing needs of students and educators in our public schools.
- The bill passed the Senate in 2008 and 2010.
- The tax credit (again NOT a voucher program) provides an incentive for business investment and helps to dispel Maryland's reputation as an unfriendly business state. The bill is capped at a MAX of $15 million, but it can be funded at any level below that.
- The bill will not "ignore" the needs of Maryland public school students
– The bill awards money to public school students as well - 40%.
- The budget for Maryland's public schools was $5 BILLION last year.
Action: Email Maryland leadership and voice your support for HB
1216/SB 844 with the TRUTH about the Maryland Education Tax Credit.
Click here and scroll down to take action!