Friday, May 22, 2015

Norm in The Wave: The Education Tax Credit Bill Endorses Public Theft

Submitted for publication in the May 22, 2015 edition - I may have missed deadline so it might be in next week.

The Education Tax Credit Bill Endorses Public Theft
By Norm Scott

I wasn’t going to write something this week but am so agitated by the outrage of the  proposal to give people who send their kids to private and religious school a giveaway of public funds that could actually be used to support public schools I was driven out of bed. I am especially pissed at our elected officials who support this bill who send their own kids to private or religious schools and thus stand to gain financially from this bill. The are the very same people who when challenged, repeat the false mantra “I support public schools” while doing the exact opposite. I include support for charter schools in my condemnation of our elected betrayers of the public schools. Let’s apply this logic. I don’t like the days my sanitation is collected. Give me a tax credit to hire a private carting firm. You’d laugh – and you should laugh at the tax credit idea, which will sound a death knell to public school for all but the poor.

My friend Harris Lirtzman sent this letter to his State Assemblyman:
"Dear ______. 

Isn’t possible that the Legislature has already done sufficient and irreparable damage to the public education system that if the Assembly agrees to the Governor’s and State Senate’s proposal for tax credits and more charter schools that we might just as well close our public school systems? I’m aware of the horrific statement that some member made that has been used to label all Democratic Assembly members as part of a laughable crew of Keystone Kop legislators--that you're all members of the Heavy Hearts Club for botching the original round of education 'reform' agenda proposed by the Governor. Please stop with the damage you’ve already done. Please do not, in any, way, shape or manner give in to the Senate's and Governor’s demands for the tax break and expanded charter cap. Just adjourn and go home before you all do any more damage to public education this session.”

NYSUT, the state teachers union,  is running 10 days of ads on Cuomo's Private School Tax Credit Program. From Capitol Confidential:

A tax credit to incentivize donations to education is being knocked by the state teachers union as “a shell game allowing corporations and the super rich to divert tax dollars to elite private schools.” In a new radio ad, New York State United Teachers is challenging a renewed push by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to get an Education Investment Tax Credit passed before the end of the legislative session. The union contends the credit, as proposed by the governor, is a giveaway to the rich that will benefit only private schools. The 60-second ad features Mr. Moneybags, a fictional fat cat who says the credit is “a scheme designed to favor us ‘zillionaires’ and our exclusive schools.” “So let me get this straight: The rich will get millions of dollars in tax breaks, cutting the resources that could go to all kids?” a narrator asks incredulously.

And the ACLU has jumped into the fray:
“The governor and the Catholic archbishop are joining forces to push taxpayer money for parochial schools. Not in New York, right? Wrong. Just this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Cardinal Timothy Dolan toured the state to push their top legislative priority – enormous tax credits to people and corporations that give money to private and religious schools. Tell them NO WAY! New Yorkers will not accept this brazen attempt to transfer precious public tax dollars to private and religious schools. With just five weeks to go in the legislative session, the governor and the Catholic Church are pulling out all the stops to get their tax credit scheme passed. New Yorkers of all stripes need to come together and push back. Tell lawmakers they can't steal money from New York’s public school students to fund private and religious schools. Funding for public schools has been slashed for years and our kids are the ones who are getting hurt. New York's public schools can't afford this financial hit ... and neither can our Constitution. Government funding of religious schools violates the separation of church and state. Contact Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders — tell them to protect free public education in New York and say no to public assistance to private and parochial schools.”

Let’s not leave out the Jewish school lobby either. Believe it or not, there is also a bill up to force us to pay for security for any religious school that requests it. Just imagine how much more money will be drained from public school to private school interests?

Why not make up your own religion and get on the gravy train? The religion of Norm. I just wish I had some kids to use to get my mitts on some of those tax credits. Any chance for a bill giving my a tax credit for sending my cats to obedience school?

Norm spouts his venom daily on

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