Governor Tom Wolf has affixed his signature to the 2018-19 state budget that comes with a total spending number of $32.7 billion for the next fiscal year beginning July 1.
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference tracks various areas of the state budget, namely in the realm of education.
The Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program, or EITC, received a $25 million increase. That increase will take the current total from $135 million to $160 million.
The increase in funding brings the EITC and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) Program totals to $210 million, combined. Below is a breakdown of current EITC & OSTC funding:
- OSTC – $50 million
- EITC – $160 million, with the following for each category:
- $110 million for K-12 Scholarship Organizations
- $12.5 million for Pre-K Scholarship Organizations
- $37.5 million for Educational Improvement Organizations
- Combined OSTC and EITC Totals – $210 million
The tax credit scholarships have been an investment that has paid dividends for students seeking a Catholic or other private education in Pennsylvania. Every Catholic school in all corners of this great Commonwealth benefits from the EITC or OSTC programs.
Each year more than 40,000 families get a scholarship that permits the parents to send their children to a school that best meets their needs. It gives these families a true choice in the right educational path for their children.
In addition, the budget makes an investment of $60 million in school safety for school resource officers, security equipment and other proven methods of preventing school violence.