A newspaper investigation has found that tuition tax-credit laws intended to help the needy attend private schools often go to students from middle- to upper-income households.
The Arizona Republic analysis of private-school enrollment data found that two of every three scholarships in 2007 likely went to students who would have attended private schools without tax-credit aid.
The newspaper found various factors driving that result.
Under a tax credit that provides most of the money, there are no income limits for families that get the scholarships. And under another tax credit, the income limit is high enough to allow middle-class families to get scholarships.
Also, tuition organizations that say they award need-based scholarships set their own definitions of “need,” and tax-credit donors earmark much of their money for specific students regardless of their families’ income.