The following is a statement from Michael Geer, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Family Institute:
One of the lessons of the pandemic is that parents and children need more schooling options, not fewer. Every day, children are falling behind because of closed classrooms, failing schools, and online schooling that for many of them, isn’t truly effective.
Incredibly, Gov. Tom Wolf’s latest budget address shows he wants to further limit school options, not expand them. Take, for example, the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs that help thousands of families overcome the barriers that prevent them from choosing the education option that best fits their children. While Gov. Wolf admits the widespread popularity of these school-choice programs, he proposes burdensome restrictions and regulations that will jeopardize the number of families receiving this scholarship assistance.
This pandemic has dramatically shifted the landscape of educational needs in Pennsylvania. Gov. Wolf’s budget plan does not account for the variety of needs facing Pennsylvania families. A better way to meet these needs would be expanding the EITC and OSTC programs as well as finding ways to provide direct financial assistance to parents for educational needs, which could be accomplished through Education Scholarship Accounts.
Here are quotes from just two of the many schools receiving scholarship assistance this year from the Pennsylvania Family Institute, one of the approved EITC scholarship organizations:
“[Your EITC scholarship] has been so very helpful especially during these very challenging times during the pandemic. Work hours have been cut for many families and some even lost their jobs. When I called the parents of the students who received monies, the parents cried for joy.” – Philadelphia private school principal
“Every day I hear from families about the struggles to stay up to date with tuition. Covid-19 has caused this need to expand multiple times over. Your scholarship organization, and its awards, give families hope when they are applying to high school.” – Philadelphia private school tuition officer