Remarks to Reporters During a Meeting With Republican Senators on Tuition Tax Credit Legislation

November 15, 1983

The President. These gentlemen and I have been meeting here on the subject of tuition tax credit, which, I believe, comes before you tomorrow in the Senate. And the opposition to it that has presented a case of somehow that this threatens public education in any way -- it does not.

It does not in any way take away from the financial support of public education, but it recognizes the equity in making a provision for people who do not use the public school system, who send their children to parochial or independent schools for whatever reason, and support fully, as fully as anyone else, the public school system financially, through their taxes and, at the same time, pay a tuition for their children going to these independent schools. And this proposal is merely one that up to a certain amount allows a tax credit for a portion of their tuition to in some way balance the fact that they are supporting the two school systems.

We believe, in addition to this, the independent, the parochial schools in this country, have offered a choice for the American people, and at the same time, they have helped, through their very presence, keep up the quality of education in the schools through simple competition.

And we think it's a most important issue and has been too long in the doing. And it's time that this break was given to those parents, a simple tax equity.

Q. Will it pass?

The President. What?

Q. You have hopes that it will pass?

Senator Dole. We're going to do our best.

Deputy Press Secretary Speakes. Thank you.

The President. We're going to do our best.

Note: The President spoke at 2:42 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House.