Editorial: "The Merits of HB 84"

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Many have complained about the way HB 84, the schoolflexibility act, was passed in the Alabama Legislature.  It was morepolitical that statesmanlike.

But, since the Republican super majority and governor willlikely make some version of this bill into law anyway, we should consider it.

The biggest concern seems to be the cost.

The tax credits you can get for moving your child from afailing public school to one that isn't failing will cost extra taxdollars.

There is also concern that some of that money will go toprivate schools.  And there is the uncertainty of the success of the taxcredits for contributions to the non-profits that will subsidize scholarshipsfor the high-poverty students.

But, if we want to try something radical, perhaps it's timeto stop thinking totally in terms of how much we're spending on education andstart thinking about how we want our taxes  to achieve success.

Maybe it is time to use some tax dollars to incentivizeschools, public or private, to compete for students.

Results based competition through a combination ofgovernment and the marketplace may not be the silver bullet for education'swoes,  but we won't know until we try it.

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