How Many Kids Should We Save?

Last week, local mom Thalia McClenton visited the Capitol to tell her tax credit scholarship story. Thalia’s sons attend Harrisburg Catholic Elementary School thanks to scholarship funding. Thalia explained:

Without the help my kids would not be able to go to Harrisburg Catholic. My son would have been eaten alive at Rowland Academy (the local district school).


Without the help my kids would not be able to go to Harrisburg Catholic.

Thalia McClenton

After one year at Harrisburg Catholic, Thalia noted: “His whole attitude has changed. Now he wants to be a pediatrician. I just thank God that He opened the door so my kids could have a quality education.”

Thalia McClenton – Photo credit: Alena Ricci

Sadly, not all students can access a school that meets their needs. Last year alone, 49,000 student scholarship applications were denied due to program limits.

Right now lawmakers are debating the proposed state budget, which could include additional funding for these transformative programs. It’s not too late to give Pennsylvania kids the chance for a better life by pushing for increases to both Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC).

Lawmakers should consider how many students will be impacted by raising the limits on tax credit scholarships.

  • Based on the current scholarship average, a $25 million tax credit scholarship increase could save about 12,500 kids—that’s roughly a quarter of the scholarship waitlist.
  • At $50 million, 25,000 kids could be helped.
  • A $75 million increase for EITC and OSTC could provide 37,500 more kids with a quality education.
  • $100 million? At $100 million you just might meet demand for all the students who want a private education but can’t afford it.

So the question is, how many kids can we save this budget season? Educational opportunity is about so much more than dollars and cents. All students deserve the chance to thrive in a school that meets their needs.