41 Days of School Choice Day 6 – Pennsylvania Gives Students Exceptional Education Option

Washington, D.C. (August 11, 2014) – The American Federation for Children kicked off the second week of the #41Days of School Choice initiative by celebrating Pennsylvania’s Educational Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program. Enacted in 2012, this is one of Pennsylvania’s two educational choice programs and is specially tailored to low-income families who have children attending failing schools.
“This program provides Pennsylvania parents, especially low-income parents with children assigned to an underperforming school, the ability to exercise their right to send their child to a quality school of their choice,” said Betsy DeVos, chairman of American Federation for Children.
The Educational Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program provides children from low-income families the opportunity to seek high-quality education options through tax credit scholarships.  Businesses are able to make donations to organizations that disperse scholarships to qualifying students. Tax credits for the business will equal 75 percent of their donations; however, if a business agrees to supply the same donation amount for consecutive years, the tax credit will increase to 90 percent.
Students who attend schools that rank in the bottom 15 percent based on combined math and reading scores on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) are eligible to participate in the program.  To date there has been $19 million dollars donated and more than 154 participating scholarship organizations.  Each student can receive up to an $8,500 scholarship or more if they have disabilities.
Program Facts:

  •  Families under 185 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($43,568 for a family of four in 2013) receive an enrollment preference
  • All families whose income does not exceed $75,000  for a family of four, are eligible for the program.

Throughout the 41 Days of School Choice campaign, the American Federation for Children will be promoting programs using the hashtag “#41Days”.

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The American Federation for Children is the nation’s leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families.

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