|January 17, 2019 01:57 PM
|Senator Mike Regan
|All Senate members
|Automatic Escalator for EITC and OSTC Programs
|In the near future, I will be re-introducing Senate Bill 1204 to offer a lifeline to thousands of additional students who are turned away from tax credit funded scholarship programs each year.
Specifically, my legislation will automatically increase the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) caps by 25 percent each Fiscal Year when at least 90 percent of the respective available tax credits are claimed in the previous Fiscal Year.
For years, Pennsylvania’s Tax Credit Scholarship programs were recognized as a national model, helping thousands of students choose a school that best fits their needs – well before student-centered learning became a trend. Unfortunately, other states now surpass Pennsylvania in this arena.
Since 2011, Florida and three other states have added automatic escalator provisions to their programs, which in turn, have grown exponentially while Pennsylvania’s have stagnated under the current scholarship caps.
In 2011 Pennsylvania awarded more tax credit scholarships than any other state, providing 40,000 scholarships to PA schoolchildren and their families. That same year, Florida awarded only 34,550 scholarships.
Now with the automatic escalator provisions, Florida awarded nearly 107,000 scholarships last year – more than double Pennsylvania’s 48,989. On top of that, more than 50,000 tax credit scholarships were denied in Pennsylvania.
School choice is intended to provide students and their families options that will allow a student to flourish and excel in an environment that is best for them. Pennsylvania can once again be a leader for our students, and I hope you will join me in sponsoring this important legislation to get us there.
Co-sponsors of SB 1204 were: BARTOLOTTA, DiSANTO, FOLMER, KILLION, MARTIN, and WHITE.
Introduced as SB299