Rhode Island’s Tax Credit Scholarship Grade Is Largely for Showing Up to Class

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With the release of the Center for Education Reform’s 2015 scorecard for states’ school choice tax credit scholarships, Rhode Islanders with knowledge of the program might wonder how their state managed to squeak out a C grade. The program comes nowhere near satisfying demand–among donors or recipients–and during budget battles, it can seem more like a trading chip legislators throw to a particular constituency.

But with so many states playing tax credit scholarship hooky, Rhode Island is getting credit for trying.

With $931,250 worth of tax credits available for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015, 75 businesses applied to give private-school scholarships to disadvantaged children through Rhode Island’s tax credit scholarship program. On July 20, the state Division of Taxation held a lottery, and the applications of just 23 of those businesses were approved.

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