Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) visited Sacred Heart Regional School in Allentown Friday morning, to tour the facility, see the kids and tout the importance of school choice.
“This was just a reminder for me of why and how much I’ve been for decades now, such a passionate advocate for school choice,” Sen. Toomey said. He was welcomed by the Principal of Sacred Heart, Jim Krupka, Dr. Philip Frohmuth, the Superintendent for Catholic Education in the Diocese of Allentown, and Sean McAleer, the Education Director of the PA Catholic Conference, along with many others connected with Sacred Heart, nearby Allentown Central Catholic High School and the Diocese of Allentown.
“The fact is that every single child deserves a first quality education and getting the right education for a child shouldn’t depend on the child’s zip code or the parent’s income,” Toomey told the group after a tour of some classrooms. “Every child is better off if their child has a choice.”
Sen. Toomey talked about the importance of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit programs in helping children in Pennsylvania attend the schools of their choice.
“But unfortunately the program has a limit. There is a cap on the amount of funds that can be used for this purpose. As a result of that cap, there are actually tens of thousands of children across the commonwealth that are not able to participate.”
Toomey said he would be strongly supportive of increasing in the cap on the OSTC and the EITC. He said there is much more room in schools like Scared Heart to accommodate more children, if their parents had the means to make it happen. Toomey talked about more potential help from the federal level.
“I’m really pleased that President Trump emphasized the importance of school choice in his State of the Union address,” Toomey said. “Specifically, he promoted legislation that I’ve introduced with Ted Cruz. It is the Education Freedom Scholarship and Opportunity Act. It’s very similar to the way the Pennsylvania programs work, but it is a federal tax credit that would be available to businesses and individuals who could get a dollar for dollar credit against tax obligations for any contribution they would make to a scholarship program that would provide an opportunity for children like we have here at Sacred Heart.”