Lessons from the Tuition Tax Credit Wars

Published May 1, 1998

Kristin J. Robbins, executive director of Minnesotans for School Choice, summarizes for School Reform News readers the three lessons learned this year in the battle to protect tuition tax credits in Minnesota.

Lesson #1: Stay Vigilant. Legislative victory is only the first step in the effort to ensure that parents have greater choices for their children’s education. The victory must be defended against further attack because the opposition will not concede easily.

Lesson #2: Stay Together. It’s essential to keep the grassroots coalition together. Rather than attacking the tax credit head-on, the opposition will try to splinter the coalition by threatening to regulate some of the groups that supported school choice.

Lesson #3: Stay Firm. Let the opposition know that you’re just as serious about protecting school choice as you were about passing it. Don’t be intimidated by their scare tactics, which show they are on the defensive and illustrate how desperate they are to protect their monopoly.