School choice advocates are celebrating a big victory in Harrisburg this weekend! Governor Tom Corbett signed the tax code bill that expands the existing Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, eliminates the delay for some companies that wish to contribute, and creates another category of tax-credit supported scholarships called Educational Improvement Scholarship Credits (EISC) targeted at students in neighborhoods with perpetually underperforming public schools.
Both EITC 1.0 and EITC 2.0 programs, as they are being called, are funded by companies that contribute to scholarship organizations in exchange for a tax credit. The longstanding EITC 1.0 program has helped tens of thousands of students attend the school of their choice, including Catholic schools. The EITC 2.0 program will help thousands more by creating special scholarships up to $8,500 ($15,000 for special education students) particularly for income eligible students in the lowest performing 15% of public schools.
The Bishops of Pennsylvania declared school choice to be a defining social justice issue of our society. This expansion of EITC moves Pennsylvania one step closer to a system of education that truly reinforces that parents – not the state – are the primary educators of their children.