40. Education Vouchers, Educational Investment Accounts, and Tax Credits and Deductions for Education (5/03)

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Whereas education vouchers, educational investment accounts, and tax credits and deductions for education that are being proposed at the federal and state levels of government would allow the government to define education and impose its values, judgments, and often its testing on people; and

Whereas such education vouchers would not be given to families but only to the institutions that families select from among those the state has certified as eligible to receive money from the state through vouchers; and

Whereas such education vouchers can easily lead to state control of education and further control of families; and

Whereas legislation providing for educational investment accounts and tax credits and deductions tied to educational expenses sets the terms of who, what, and under what conditions one qualifies for such tax breaks, including defining key terms such as teacher, educator, homeschool, private school, educational expense, etc.; and

Whereas defining, interpreting, and applying such key terms provides federal and state governments with the authority to further regulate private schooling including homeschools; and

Whereas monitoring (including auditing) the use of such tax breaks, credits, and deductions can further define and regulate homeschools; and

Whereas there are other publicly funded services that we as citizens pay taxes for (such as fire departments and prisons) but hope we will not use their services for ourselves; and

Whereas there are better and more direct ways for the state and federal governments to assist families in funding private education (including home schooling), such as reducing taxes to families and increasing tax deductions and credits for dependents;

Be it resolved that members of Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) that WPA opposes education vouchers, educational investment accounts, and tax credits and deductions for education that would require the surrender of educational freedom, and, instead, WPA supports measures that would strengthen families either by decreasing their tax burdens and thus leaving them money to use for private education or by returning money directly to families, thus allowing families true choice in how moneys are spent for education. 5/03

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