(TRENTON, OCTOBER 16) - Republican gubernatorial nominee Bret Schundler visited the Statehouse Tuesday with three New Jersey families to discuss his $500 tax credit to help working and middle class families throughout New Jersey pay for their out-of-pocket education expenses.
“My proposal to offer parents a $500 per child education tax credit would put $223 million of education spending DIRECTLY in the hands of parents, rather than bureaucrats -- AND would save the state $50 million in education funding. Let’s be clear -- this isn’t a question of HOW MUCH money is going to be spent on education, this is a question of WHO’S GOING TO CONTROL that spending. We want to put money and the decision-making power directly into the hands of parents, because they care most about the education of their children,” Schundler said.
The education tax credit proposal would allow parents to receive a $500 per child tax credit to help defray the cost of school supplies, reference materials, tutoring, or private tuition that they incur educating their children. The credit would be available to parents who send their children to public, private, or charter schools, or who home-school their children. Schundler, pointing to a display of school supplies, reference materials, learning aids, computer hardware and software that would be eligible for reimbursement through the proposed tax credit, said:
“This is what my tax credit plan can provide for families. My education tax credit proposals will put more money in the hands of parents so that they can help further their children’s education.
“Jim McGreevey thinks this is a bad idea. He doesn’t want parents to use their own money - he wants to raise taxes so that government bureaucrats have control of your money. Jim McGreevey should explain to these parents why he wants to spend more on government bureaucracy, rather than allowing parents to invest some of their own tax dollars in their children’s education.”
Three New Jersey families joined Schundler to underscore his point that all families would be eligible for his education tax credit program.
Bob and Linda Pawson live in Hamilton, where their two children attend public school. Bob is a public school teacher for the Trenton public school district and Linda is an employee of the Hamilton public school district. Eileen and Michael Helmer, who live in Summit, have five children, four of whom attend St. Patrick’s Parochial School in Chatham. Michael is a lawyer and Eileen is a homemaker. Ira and Leslie McManus have five school-age children. Their eldest daughter attends public school and their remaining four children are educated at home. The McManus family owns several health care related businesses, including an assisted living facility and a visiting nursing facility.
“I believe that when it comes to reforming public education, we need to put parents back into the driver’s seat, and better spend the money we already have,” Schundler said.