Christiana Unveils Students and Schools Rescue Act

Only hours after speaking eloquently at our forum releasing our school choice video today, my friend Jim Christiana announced a new bill he is introducing to throw a lifeline to kids in violent, failing schools.

Here are some of the details of the “Students and Schools Rescue Act.”

Opportunity Scholarships

  • Opportunity scholarships would be made available for students in low-achieving school districts.
  • Students with a family income up to 250% of poverty ($55,875 for a family of four) would be eligible for a scholarship. The full scholarship amount would be available for students with family income below poverty line, but would phase out as family income increases (see table).
  • The full scholarship amount would equal the state funding per pupil to local districts. The scholarship amount would vary by district, but the statewide average would be $5,100.
  • In 2012-13, all students currently attending public schools in failing districts (and new Kindergarten students) would be eligible. In 2012-13, the program would be open to all students living in a failing school district. 

Family Income as Percent of Federal Poverty Line

Income Limits for Family of Four, 2011

Scholarship Amount as  Percent of State Share of Per-Pupil Funding to Local District

Scholarship Amount in School District with Avg. State Subsidy ($5,100 per pupil)

Up to and including 100%




More than 100% up to and including 150%




More than 150% up to and including 200%




More than 200% up to and including 250%




Educational Improvement Tax Credit

  • The Educational Improvement Tax Credit, which for 10 years has given business tax credits for donations to scholarship organization and organizations working in public schools would be increased.
  • The total cap on tax credits would increase to $100 million for fiscal year 2011-12, and increase to $200 million in FY 2012-13.
  • Family income limits for scholarship eligibility would also increase (see table below).
  • This is identical to HB 1330, which passed the House of Representatives 190-7 in May, 2011.

EITC Credit Cap, in millions


Scholarship Organizations

Pre-K Scholarship Organizations

Educational Improvement Organizations

Total EITC Credits






2011-12 (Current Law)





2011-12 (Proposed)





2012-13 (Proposed)






EITC Scholarship Income Limits


Base Family Income

Additional Income Per Child

2010-11 (Current Law)



2011-12 (Proposed)



2012-13 (Proposed)



2013-14 (Proposed)

$75,000 + CPI

$15,000 + CPI