Starting the Conversation: Should Taxes Follow?

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By Marianne Reid Anderson

Currently, property taxes are used to fund the public school system. However, if your child decides to attend a “charter’ school which is an independent public school, the taxes allotted for the child, follow that child from the public school they would attend and instead, go to funding the charter school. This way the child’s education is still being paid for by the taxes collected for educational purposes.
Unfortunately, the same does not apply for children choosing to go to a private or parochial school. Instead, parents must pay both the property taxes and the tuition even though, many times, the choice to go to a private or parochial school is the same as the reasons to attend a charter school.
Which begs the question: shouldn’t the taxes allotted for a child follow the child if he or she attends go any alternative schooling?
In November of 2013, the Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amended version of a charter school reform bill that will allow most charters to receive payments directly from the state rather than routing them through the local school districts and will enable other entities other than the state and school districts, such as universities, to authorize charter schools.
Which begs another question: if they wanted, should a private or parochial school be able apply for “charter” status and receive state funded money?
What do you think? Let your voice be heard by commenting on my blog “Continuing the Conversation” at