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Saturday, August 1, 2009

O Arizona: The Poor Don't Flock To Private Schools: D'oh!

Tuition-aid program benefits wealthy families, raises worry
For more than a decade, an Arizona tax-credit program has allowed parents to receive financial help from the state to send their children to private schools.

That tuition-scholarship program promises to grow as recently passed laws open the doors to increased use of the tax credits and the ability to make payments out of payroll deductions.

But an Arizona Republic analysis found that the program is falling short in helping the poor, one of the prominent original goals.

Studies and interviews indicate that many students who benefit from the tax-credit scholarships are not from poor families.

The affluent are the prime taxpayers who take advantage of the credit, steering their state taxes to fund religious schools that don't always focus on helping the poor.

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