The fiscal year 2012-13 state budget increases the Educational Improvement Tax Credit by $25 million to $100 million and creates a new $50 million tax credit for Opportunity Scholarships—effectively doubling in size the amount of money available to provide scholarships to help students escape violent and failing public schools and attend safer and better private schools.
A new Policy Memo summarizes the EITC expansion and opportunity scholarships.
Here is what others are saying about expansion of school choice in the commonwealth:
Robert Enlow, Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
Even though there is more work to be done to give all families in Pennsylvania real educational freedom, leaders and advocates in the Keystone State did what every school choice supporter should do: Never give up. Other states can learn from Pennsylvania’s hard-fought experience to provide school choice to more families, as well as their dedication to keep on fighting for kids.
Betsy DeVos, American Federation for Children
This budget represents an important step in the direction of making sure all Pennsylvania children have access to the quality education that best suits their individual needs. This is important progress and we look forward to providing even more opportunities to families in need in the months ahead.
Otto Banks, REACH Alliance & Foundation
This bill is a landmark victory for parental choice in Pennsylvania. The new [Opportunity Scholarships] will serve as a powerful catalyst that will create an explosive change in education that will be felt throughout the entire Commonwealth. Combined with the expansion to the EITC, thousands of more parents are now in control of their children’s future.
Adam Schaeffer, Cato Institute
Pennsylvania is on the cusp of a massive school choice victory. A huge expansion of the education tax credit program looks feasible, and it would make the Keystone state the leader in school choice
(EITC) is a precious gift and an opportunity to grow freedom in education. This gives us a way to put the government at arm’s distance. I think this program in particular allows us to get control of our culture.
Rachel Sheffield, Heritage Foundation
Pennsylvania’s broadened school choice program now provides a way for students to exchange a failing school for one that is suited to their individual needs. It opens doors to educational opportunity that would otherwise be unavailable, thus providing a path to a brighter academic future.