Taxes and Public/Private Education

alphabet-class-conceptual-301926“Tax money for schools” was the subject of a recent radio discussion. It is my understanding that the Iowa state legislature included a tax break for those who give donations to scholarship fund for those who wish to attend Christian or parochial schools. To my sorrow, the opinions of those who called in often revealed an antagonism between public and private school supporters.

One caller’s misconception about those who attend Christian schools still troubles me a week later.

“Those who send their kids to Christian schools can do so because they are well-to-do…”

The decision to send your child(ren) to a Christian school is a difficult choice made on the basis of your faith, not your pocketbook. For many parents, it is a struggle to stretch their limited income, practice strict budgeting, and “made do” instead of new purchases or vacations. Even so, these same parents often struggle to pay back school loans long after their kids have gone on to college.

Christian school parents are also citizens of the communities and pay the same taxes—they contribute their share to public education even though not utilizing it. Most also vote to increase taxes for education, even though they may be struggling to keep up with tuition in the private school their child(ren) attend.

Scholarship funds are one avenue that make Christian education a possibility for those who desire that their children to be taught under the umbrella of faith. People of faith are also found in public schools, but teaching cannot be done out of that point of view—this is the major difference between the two systems.

It’s not snobbery, or better-than-thou, or apartheid, or a desire to mingle only with “their own” that brings parents to make this costly decision. It’s a choice that puts a priority on teaching that is Christ-centered and Christ-focused.

The choice for Christian education is made despite your pocketbook, but greatly affects your pocketbook.

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