While exploding Medicaid costs certainly have grabbed the attention of state lawmakers, "the key structural problem in state and local finances is education, not health care," Adam Schaeffer writes in Investor's Business Daily.
And a fundamental shift in our K-12 investment strategy is the only way to avoid defaulting on the promise of a public education. ...
When a budget doesn't come close to adding up, the biggest expenditure usually has to give. That has meant foreclosure for many homeowners; and it means a serious restructuring of K-12 education spending for public officials. State and local governments need immediate relief from the financial demands of public schooling, and a long-term solution to the system's profligacy. ... We need a more effective and efficient means of investing in education.
The long-term solution involves tax credits, of the sort provided for in SB 969, by Sen. Dan Newberry (R-Tulsa). As Schaeffer says, "citizens and businesses want to invest directly in the effort to educate the public, and we should encourage them to do so through K-12 education tax credits. Given our state and local financial outlook, we have no promising alternative."