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Final Word: Time to scrap Arizona's tax credit for school donations?

Wednesday's article on AZCentral details the successes and failures of Arizona's public school tax credit program.

In essence, the program allows Arizona taxpayers to take a bit off their tax bill and direct it at a particular elementary, middle or high school of their choice.

It was passed by the legislature back in 1997 as a way to get approval for a PRIVATE school tax credit. Public school teachers, as you might imagine, hated the idea of private school kids getting the benefit of the tax dollars that were supposed to go to pay for public schools, so adding the public school option helped to get it passed.

You have to pay taxes anyway, right? So why shouldn't you be able to driect your dollars to the schol your kids go to, or your grandkids or neighbros go to?

Simple: The rich schools get the money and the poor schools don't.

The schools that account for most of the "free lunch" takers, you know those? The parents whose kids don't make enough money to pay taxes? They won't pay the tax credit because its EXTRA. It's not fair.

Public schools are SUPPPOSED to be as equal as possible, as much "like each other" as is made possible by the law, society, and the enghborhoods in which they are built. Inequality comes in a lot of forms, from the income and education level of the parents, availability of those parents, and health and well being of the students.

We all know these factors result in higher test scores and college acceptance rates at the wealthier schools. So why is it ok for Catalina Foothills to make $918,827 in 2012, when 58 comparable high schools raised NOTHING?

Look, if you want to donate to your kids school, donate. Give your time, your money, or your car, if you want.

Maybe it's time we scrapped the tax credits for everyone?

About the Author

Karie Dozer is host of Arizona's Noon News.

She has been an on-air personality nearly continually since her college days. She loves radio because it is intelligent, immediate and almost always available.

She is the youngest of nine children from a Midwestern Catholic family where she learned to be heard, fight for a place at the table and find humor in almost everything. She was hired as a news intern while a senior at ASU's Cronkite School, and found that covering human stories like the OJ Simpson white Bronco chase and the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns was too much fun to pass up.

She loved life in the newsroom with all the action and crazy personalities to go with it. She anchored and covered some sports too, until politics dragged her away. She served as press secretary for Arizona's Attorney General Grant Woods for a five-year stint before jumping back to radio on a part-time basis. Three years ago she got back in the biz on a more regular basis as a midday host on what is now KTAR News. She has a passion for the breaking news of the moment, education, local politics, great food, sports and fitness. She has trouble turning down a good argument, a good book or a good glass of wine.

In her spare time she takes care of her boys, (husband Rich, son Jack, and yellow lab Buddy,) and bakes awesome chocolate chip cookies. She enjoys the quality of life the Valley offers her family and the natural beauty of Arizona. Her favorite places are golf courses, her own kitchen, the city of Flagstaff, and wherever her family is.

She considers herself lucky to work with the amazingly talented people of KTAR radio.


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