June 14, 2017 Print

The Buckeye Institute, an Atlas Network partner based in Ohio, is quickly becoming a leader of strategic partnerships. By leveraging its network, The Buckeye Institute has enjoyed a streak of successes, specifically promoting education savings accounts (ESAs), encouraging lower taxes, producing relevant free-market research that advances its mission, and calling for greater flexibility for the States on healthcare reforms.

A push for Ohio ESAs
The Buckeye Institute recently published its “ESA Magnum Opus”, entitled “Education Savings Accounts (ESAs): Expanding Education Options for Ohio,” which assesses the benefits of ESAs and provides a path forward to massively increase choice for Ohioan parents in their childrens’ education. “The ESA concept builds upon Ohio’s successes with a variety of scholarship programs such as EdChoice and will ensure that Ohio’s children receive the education they deserve,” said Greg R. Lawson, one of the authors of the report and research fellow at The Buckeye Institute. “It also provides additional incentives that propel Ohio’s educational system forward from a 20th Century model into one nimble enough to meet the demands of the 21st Century.”

The impact of ESAs can already be felt by those in states who have adopted similar programs. The Goldwater Institute, an Atlas Network partner based in Arizona, has worked to lead its state to great success with the ESA model. Brother and sister Aiden (8th grade) and Erin (5th grade) Yellowhair were trapped in a failing school system. Both siblings suffered from bullying and subpar educational environments; however, through the ESA Empowerment Program, they were able to escape the system and find an education that worked for them. Students in Arizona, like Aiden and Erin, are examples of the benefits these policies can bring to the students of Ohio.

Louisiana tax reform
In addition to its work in education policy reform, The Buckeye Institute has been making strides in tax reform, recently partnering with Louisiana-based Atlas Network partner the Pelican Institute to publish a report entitled “Addressing Louisiana’s Budget Shortfall: Strategies for Growth.” The report found that Louisiana’s current proposal to raise taxes to finance increased government spending would be disastrous for the local economy. Instead of raising taxes, the report advocates, Louisianans would be better off reducing or eliminating many taxes while increasing incentives for investments and job creation, thus broadening the tax base.

Tax Foundation and Ohio partnership
The Buckeye Institute partnered with the Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based Atlas Network partner, to publish Ohio Illustrated: A Visual Guide to Taxes and the Economy. The publication is a detailed overview of the present state of Ohio’s economy and its tax code, and brings the reader’s attention to the areas in which Ohio’s tax system is in need of reform, illustrating how Ohio’s business climate could be improved through collecting taxes in a manner that is more efficient, competitive, transparent, and fair.

“The Buckeye Institute is here to fight for people that do not have a voice,” writes Rebekah Alt, chief external affairs officer at The Buckeye Institute, “The Buckeye Institute is in the business of getting the government out of the way.”