To the Editor:
In response to “Choice Issue Opens Rift in Missouri” (May 3, 2006), which reports on the divide among that state’s black legislators over tax-credit scholarships to nonpublic schools:
Such a rift did not occur in Pennsylvania when, five years ago, it implemented a similar program of tax credits. Both sides of the aisle in the General Assembly, and its Republican and Democratic governors alike, have supported increases in the state budget for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program. Last year, with $40 million allocated for tax credits, $60 million was applied for by businesses, truly demonstrating the popularity of this program.
The EITC program in Pennsylvania allows businesses to give to public schools for educational improvement purposes, or to nonpublic schools for tuition assistance. Votes in the state legislature on tax credits have not even been close. It is a very successful part of the educational landscape in Pennsylvania, and will remain so in the foreseeable future. This program saves taxpayers money and provides educational opportunities for parents.
Ronald T. Bowes
Assistant Superintendent for
Public Policy and Development
Diocese of Pittsburgh
Department for Catholic Schools
A version of this article appeared in the May 24, 2006 edition of Education Week as How One State Avoided Missouri’s Tax-Credit Rift