On Thursday, November 3 during our weekly meeting, we were joined Phil Puleo, Christian School Consultant and Tax Credit Specialist for a conversation about how to increase funding through the Pennsylvania tax credit scholarship program. CREDITS REMAIN AVAILBALE FOR 2022! The ACSI Children's Tuition Fund was available at the end of the call to share information about the recent 10 million credit expansion. Topics discussed during the meeting included promoting the tax credit program, encouraging participation in the program, and a time for questions to be answered. If you were unable to be part of this meeting and have questions about the program and the credits remaining for 2022, we encourage you to listen to the recording and then reach out to us at PACAPELeaders@champion.org if you have further questions.
Of all the school choice bills currently up for consideration in Pennsylvania, state Sen. Mike Regan’s proposed expansion of tax credit scholarships appears to be the one best positioned to become law. The Republican representing parts of Cumberland and York Counties is the lead sponsor of Senate Bill 527 (https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20210&cosponId=33736), which would establish an “automatic escalator” each year so the supply of scholarships would keep up with increasing demand.
GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR OUR SCHOOLS....
The Lifeline Scholarship Program would offer an Education Opportunity Account (EOA) to any student assigned to a district school in the bottom 15% of performance metrics based on state testing. Students cannot enroll in public schools and receive an EOA. Click the link below to lean more.
Lifeline Scholarship Program Legislative Summary & Analysis
Marc LeBlond presented ACSIPA leaders with a plaque honoring faithful advocacy that helped advance the legislation that opens doors for increasingly more students in need throughout the state.
Pictured (left to right) are Dale Shatto - Leadership Christian Academy, Dr. D. Merle Skinner - Christian Family and Children's Center, Marc LeBlond - Commonwealth Foundation, and Dr. Kathy Keefer - Johnstown Christian School.
Our recent elections revealed that parents want more choice for their children's education. SB527, which includes a 25% escalator based upon 90% utilization of EITC/OSTC Tax Credits, is expected to be voted on very soon. There is a great need for additional tax credits to support student scholarships. This legislation allows for conditional and reasonable increases upon a certain level of utilization the previous year. Stay tuned for more progress on these school choice bills. Find out more about these programs with the documents linked below.
- Commonwealth Backgrounder: Excellent Education for All Act Summary
- HB1 Endorsement Letter from ACSIPA Leaders
- SB 527 Fact Sheet
The Excellent Education for All Act (House Bill 1) is a transformative plan that ensures more Pennsylvania children have access to an excellent education. It contains four components:
- Increasing the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs so students don’t miss out on great opportunities.
- Reforming Pennsylvania’s charter schools while preserving and enhancing choice for families.
- Offering an education opportunity account (EOA) to any school-age child in Pennsylvania. Students cannot enroll in public schools and receive an EOA.
- Protecting learning pods from regulation that would prevent parent cooperation to enhance the education of their children.
In response to rising case numbers and requests from school leaders for additional support, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) will implement the following changes to the K-12 school COVID-19 case and close contact reporting process effective Friday, October 8, 2021.
We are making these changes to reduce the administrative reporting burden on school personnel, to allow DOH staff to respond more promptly to urgent school inquiries, and to get critical information about quarantining and isolation to students, school staff, and families as quickly as possible. Please be aware that DOH will continue to investigate individual COVID-19 cases and follow up with identified close contacts outside the school setting.
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The Secretary of Health’s Order requiring masks in public and private schools is set to go into effect on September 7, 2021. The Secretary issued a FAQ responses document as well, though there are certainly many questions that were left unanswered. However, at this stage, the Order requires private schools to require that each teacher, child/student, staff, or visitor working, attending, or visiting a School Entity shall wear a face covering indoors, regardless of vaccination status, subject to some exceptions listed in the Order.
Safe Schools' Initiative