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State should approve education tax credit

The recent News editorial opposing the Education Investment Tax Credit was full of conjecture and assumptions that don’t stand up to scrutiny. The bill would encourage more charitable donations from individuals and businesses to the very organizations that, under current law, help primarily low-income families.

The editorial also fails to note that scholarship organizations must offer more than a single school, which negates benefits to “exclusive” schools that operate their own scholarship funds.

By using a tax credit, the bill adopts a familiar, widespread means to address a public policy objective to help students and families. Tax credits are used for corporations, including the film industry, beer and yogurt production, green energy and a host of other issues. Under this bill, there is no taxpayer support for religious schools, nor are credits allowed for donations to private schools. Rather, tax-credited donations are encouraged to go to scholarship organizations and public schools, to serve students. That’s right, it also equally benefits public schools.

At a time when New York is looking to expand resources for education, the Education Investment Tax Credit would expand charitable resources for public schools and private scholarships without raising local property taxes or affecting increases in state school aid. Its time for passage is now.

Darleen Michalak, Ph.D.

Chairwoman, Catholic Schools

Advisory Council

Amherst