Press Release: Teach PA Praises Passage of Measures to Protect EITC and OSTC Scholarship Funds in Face of COVID-19 Crisis

Philadelphia, PA (April 14, 2020) – Teach PA, a project of the Orthodox Union (“OU”) that advocates for equitable government funding of nonpublic schools, commended today the Pennsylvania General Assembly for approving an amendment to SBA 841, which – due to the COVID-19 crisis – will extend the contribution deadline for Education Investment and Opportunity Scholarship tax credits (“EITC” and “OSTC”) and waive underpayment penalties for program participants.

Pennsylvania’s EITC program awards credits to eligible businesses and individuals contributing to a scholarship organization, an educational improvement organization, and/or a pre-k scholarship organization. Likewise, the OSTC program provides tax credits to eligible businesses contributing to an opportunity scholarship organization.

Teach PA has been aggressively lobbying and building a coalition around an effort to modify the EITC and OSTC regulations.

These programs provide millions of dollars in funding per year to help students with financial need whose families determine that nonpublic schools, like Jewish day schools, are the best fit for their educational needs. Without the amendment, many students’ scholarships would either be drastically reduced or even eliminated.

“With millions of dollars in scholarship funding at stake, Teach PA commends commonwealth lawmakers for acting in the best interests of thousands of students whose lives have been changed immeasurably by EITC and OSTC,” said Teach PA Executive Director Arielle Frankston-Morris.

“Pandemics don’t discriminate between public and nonpublic school students and families. Generous contributors are at the heart of EITC and OSTC, and COVID-19 is inhibiting their ability to make the scholarship donations the program requires of them at this immediate time. We’re pleased that they will have more time to determine the impact this crisis will have on their contribution level and avoid harsh penalties.”