ROYERSFORD PA – Public and private schools in western Montgomery County and across Pennsylvania, their students and families, and local businesses all could benefit from a proposed increase in funding limits for two popular education tax credit programs, state House representatives proposed Wednesday (Jan. 18, 2018) during a press conference staged at Pope John Paul II High School.
State Rep. Tom Quigley – whose 146th District includes Lower Pottsgrove, Limerick and Perkiomen townships and Pottstown, Royersford and Trappe boroughs – joined fellow county Rep. Michael Corr and state House Speaker Mike Turzai to make a case for increasing amounts businesses could donate to schools and receive state tax credit for the contributions.
The House in March approved legislation introduced by Turzai to increase the amount of combined credits available through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs to $250 million. Currently, the combined limit is $135 million.
The programs “align the interests of students, parents, local businesses and schools so they’re all working toward the shared goal of academic achievement,” Quigley said. They “provide students and parents with choices, businesses with incentives to invest in education, and both public and private schools with the financial resources they need to properly educate children,” he claimed.
“Families who want educational opportunities – to attend non-public schools, or to participate in after-school educational enhancement activities – but cannot afford them have found the educational improvement and opportunity scholarships to be positively life-changing,” Turzai added.
EITCs provides businesses with tax credits in exchange for voluntary contributions to organizations that fund various education opportunities, including scholarships and innovative programming, in both public and private schools.
OSTCs are offered in exchange for contributions to organizations that provide scholarships to students who live within the attendance boundary of a low-achieving public school. Scholarships enable students to attend a participating public or private school that better meets their needs.
Turzai’s bill has been passed on to the Senate Education Committee and is awaiting consideration.
Photo from the Pennsylvania Department of Education