On Feb. 25, researchers from the University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy and EdChoice released a fiscal impact statement regarding HB1371, The Arkansas Child Academic Opportunity Scholarship and Grant Act. The study revealed the proposed tax-credit scholarship program would generate a positive estimated net fiscal benefit of $773,000 to Arkansas public school districts.
The study projected that any reduction in funding to districts would more than offset the reduction in variable costs for those students, leaving a positive return for public schools in the amount of $900 per student in the program.
“It’s a common myth that programs like this will negatively impact public school finances,” said Emmy Henley, managing director of The Reform Alliance. “The reality is this innovative, parent-driven program helps alleviate budget concerns at public schools while giving families who have been historically marginalized access to options that better serve their children’s needs.”
The statement also projects that state taxpayers would experience net fiscal savings worth $2.3 million, or $2,600 for each scholarship student.