pennsylvania tax scholarship expansion

Tax Credit Scholarship Expansion Big Win for Waitlisted Pennsylvania Kids, Amid Growing Demand

July 8, 2022, Harrisburg, Pa. – The Pennsylvania legislature increased educational opportunities for Pennsylvania children, especially those from low- and middle-income homes, by including a $125 million expansion for tax credit scholarships in the recently passed state budget agreement, said Commonwealth Foundation Senior Vice President Nathan Benefield.

The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) ensures the opportunity for thousands of Pennsylvania kids to have access to an excellent education. Funding for these scholarships comes from businesses that receive a tax credit when they donate.

Tax credit scholarships helped more than 60,000 parents improve their children’s education in 2021, but arbitrary program caps have limited student access to the programs. In 2019–20, caps denied over 75,000 K–12 student applications and turned away $116 million in business donations.

The recently passed budget includes a $125 million increase for the EITC and OSTC and will increase opportunities for more than 30,000 additional K–12 students.

Commonwealth Foundation Senior Vice President Nathan Benefield issued the following statement:

“Pennsylvania businesses are generously helping thousands of K-12 students get a quality education. Now they can do more. The recently passed state budget increases the cap on the amount businesses can deduct through state tax credit scholarship programs.

“The increase in total deductions allowed through the program means that more than 30,000 additional low- and middle-income children will have opportunities they didn’t have before to obtain an education that meets their specific needs.

“Too often politicians throw money into education programs that have no record of success or repeatedly fail to achieve desired results. These programs work. The money businesses invest in these programs will reap tremendous benefits for thousands of young people and the communities where they live.”

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The Commonwealth Foundation transforms free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish.