The following is a thank you letter from a mother whose children received a scholarship through PA Family Institute’s Family Choice Scholarship Program, part of the incredibly successful Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs.
Thanks to the many business owners for their scholarship aid (who can receive up to a 90% tax credit) and to your support of PA Family which helps to fund the Family Choice Scholarship Program, we’re helping families every year choose a better education for their children.
Your gift today to PA Family Institute will be doubled thanks to a generous donor providing us with a $100,000 challenge grant opportunity. Click here to invest in the work of PA Family.
Twelve years ago, my family committed to living in a poor community in Philadelphia. We were starting the process of establishing a new neighborhood church in the city’s Frankford neighborhood, hoping to bless and support the people of that neighborhood. Along with this lifestyle choice, we knew we would be staying in a low-income bracket ourselves in order to minister here.
We had two young children at that point and were naive to the many challenges of schooling options we would encounter. Now, we have five children and have had the privilege of adopting two of them through the Philadelphia foster care system.
Over the years, we have had our kids in a neighborhood charter school as well as a public school district special admissions school. This past year, our oldest was entering a new high school and that left our second oldest (who had been riding with his older brother on public transit everyday) in a tough spot. We didn’t feel comfortable having him ride public transit alone for the coming school year to continue attending his special admissions academic public school.
We decided to look into a private school. We knew the principal and had been a part of their soccer league for several years. We found out they gave discounts to pastors, but our low income still meant we would not be able to afford the school. They shared with us places to apply for scholarships and the Family Choice Scholarship Program was listed.
With the gracious assistance from Family Choice, in conjunction with a Philadelphia scholarship, we were able to send not only our second youngest, but also our 4th grader and our daughter just starting school in kindergarten. What a gift it is to have all three of these kids in this school! Our second oldest is advanced and now in an advanced program. Our 4th grader is dyslexic and our daughter in kindergarten has cognitive delays. They are in classrooms with experienced, loving teachers and I can see the difference already from our past schools.
I am sure you can imagine there are many levels to the challenges low-income families face in education. For us, we were exhausted by how many times teachers left in the middle of the school year and the schools did not (or could not) replace the teacher. The classes were manned by untrained staff for the rest of the year and it robbed the kids of that year’s education. Even in a charter school, I had teachers urging me to get the children to a different school because they were seeing their own school not meeting the needs of children.
I am grateful that I can tell people in my community they have options and can, in fact, look into private options because of generous resources like Family Choice. Thank you for considering being a donor to this program. There’s a mass of grateful parents like me across Pennsylvania, thankful for the chance to have a choice.
– Abigail, Philadelphia
For more about the Family Choice Scholarship Program, visit MyFamilyChoice.org.