This might surprise some people, but I am actually for the idea of giving compensation for those taxpayers who also send their children to private and parochial schools. At least in New York City.
I have had reservations in the past of giving taxpayer money to religious institutions, like parochial schools, but on the other hand it really is not right to have parents pay double. One might argue that going to a private school is a luxury burden that parents put on themselves, they could easily just take advantage of the free public school system and stop bellyaching.
But can they really?
Schools in New York City are packed. They barely have room (not even, they don't have room!) for the number of students that are there today. Suppose that tomorrow all of the Jewish schools and Catholic schools and all the private schools decided to enroll their kids in the public school system. They would have nowhere to go! The fact of the matter is that the public school option is closed.
Given that there are all these children who cannot get an education within the system why are their parents being taxed to support it?
Some might argue that to take away such tax dollars from the public school system would put it in a worse place than it is today. It's already screwed up and underfunded. It needs that money.
Well, my first answer is that the objection is fallacious. Yes, the system may need the money, but why should such money be continuously received through what is essentially governmentally approved theft of the taxpayers. Taxpayers are not all wealthy. They need their money too.
Secondly, the system wouldn't be so screwed up if it wasn't wracked with stupidity and corruption. There are so many wasted dollars throughout the public school system in everything it does. If they would streamline it efficiently they would have enough funding to do well by every student.
However, my approval of compensation has a caveat. Such backfunding can only be given to those institutions that actually educate their students in a manner in accordance to a quality standard. What I envision is not giving tax credits or tax deductions or vouchers directly to parents (since such plans almost always favor the wealthy) but to take care of it through the institution side of things. An institution reports to the city or state how many students it has and receives a monetary package from them. That way the schools can then lower their tuitions and parents feel indirect tax relief.
But as I was getting to, such schools would only get that monetary package if their curriculum included a standard level of education for the various important subjects. Giving money to parents to send their kids to a non-educational institution is counter-productive. The students would have to learn English and Science and History, etc. The little corner Hasidic yeshivah where kids come out without even knowing English would never get such funding. Every school would have a standard education that would be paid by the state, but if they want extras like classes in Gemara or Hebrew or Gospel studies (thinking of those Catholics of course) that bill they'll need to foot themselves.
So, in this grand plan, not only are parents being duly compensated, but the levels of education for many students would have to increase.