Education Investment Tax Credit Rally in Niagara Square
Led by Most Reverend Richard J. Malone, hundreds of students, parents and educators rallied at Niagara Square on May 28th to urge Gov. Cuomo and state lawmakers to approve legislation that will increase charitable donations to public schools and scholarships for low-income and working family students looking to attend parochial and other private schools.
The Education Investment Tax Credit has broad bipartisan support, including support from virtually every member of the Western New York delegation in Albany.
Bishop Malone said had this been enacted sooner, it would have likely lessened the need for the recent restructuring of schools in the diocese; 10 Catholic elementary schools will be closing at the end of the school year.
The Education Investment Tax Credit will increase funds in two areas critical to our state's educational future - donations to public schools, school districts and teacher-driven projects; and scholarships to help low- and middle-income students attend religious and other tuition-based schools. The total increase on donations from this bill would grow to $300 million per year, divided evenly between public school needs and scholarships for students to attend parochial or other private schools.
It would accomplish this by creating a new tax credit for those who make a charitable donation for educational purposes.
Under the bill, low-income and middle-class students would benefit directly from up to $150 million in annual charitable contributions to nonprofit scholarship organizations providing tuition assistance. The new donations for scholarships would make private and parochial education a reality for families seeking new quality educational opportunities and assist those already enrolled who are struggling to afford tuition at schools that best meet their needs.
Additionally, donations to public schools and public school districts would be increased by the same amount - thus making it easier for public schools to enhance their programs without additional reliance on property tax payers or state aid. The bill would also give public school teachers a first-ever New York State income tax credit when they spend their own money on classroom supplies, up to $100.
No government funds would flow to private, Catholic elementary or other faith-based schools.
To take part in this call to action, contact Gov. Cuomo and tell him Western NY needs the Education Investment Tax Credit for our children and schools.
To contact Gov. Cuomo via phone: (518) 474-8390
To contact Gov. Cuomo on-line: www.bit.ly/ContactGovCuomo
or Tweet: NYS needs @NYGovCuomo to make #InvestInEd Tax Credit into law.