A bipartisan plan to bring tax-credit scholarships to one of the nation’s largest and bluest states has fallen short, at least for now.The provision did not survive the $142 billion annual spending budget that New York lawmakers adopted early this morning, leaving supporters instead to push for its adoption this summer in the regular session.
The “Education Investment Tax Credit” had been tied to the Dream Act, which would provide state college aid to undocumented immigrants, in a political deal that unraveled in the final days of budget deliberations. Neither survived.
Among those expressing regret was Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, and his reaction was pointed: “Our elected officials must cease allowing public school teachers unions intent on creating a government school monopoly to continue dictating education policy in our state. We turn again to our leaders to do the right thing, and pass the education tax credit, not for any interest group, but for the children of our state.”
That the effort came so close, though, speaks to both its future possibilities and the changing politics surrounding private school choice.
In New York, supporters of the scholarship program have assembled a broad coalition led by prominent Democrats, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and supported by organized labor. Both Cuomo and the state Senate proposed the Education Investment Tax Credit in their budgets. Though the Assembly did not include the plan in its budget, a majority of its members have signed on as co-sponsors.