Rallying For Education


Approximately 75 students, parents, teachers and administrators showed their support for the Education Tax Credit by holding a rally outside of Assembly Member Charles Lavine’s Glen Cove district office last week. Lavine is one of the few New York State Assemblymen who have not yet shown support for the bill.

The majority of students at Tuesday’s rally were from St. Dominic Elementary School in Oyster Bay with help from parents, teachers and administrators from St. Edward the Confessor in Syosset, All Saints Regional in Glen Cove, Our Lady of Mercy High School in Syosset, St. Dominic High School in Oyster Bay, Kellenberg High School in Uniondale and Education Department officials from the Diocese of Rockville Centre including Superintendent of Schools Sr. Joanne Callahan, OSU.

Rally_061215AThe Governor’s Parental Choice in Education Act is aimed to support and protect alternative school options for parents and students across New York State and will increase investment in education by encouraging more charitable donations that benefit all students, regardless of what type of school they attend.

The act includes the Education Tax Credit, which allows for $150 million in education tax credits annually.

These tax credits would include low-income families who send their children to nonpublic schools; scholarships to low- and middle-income students to attend either a public school outside of their district or a nonpublic school; incentives to public schools for enhanced educational programming (like after school programs); and tax credits to public school teachers for the purchase of supplies.

It also includes the Family Choice Education Credit, which will provide credits to families of religious and private school students.

Families with incomes below $60,000 per year would qualify for up to $500 per student for tuition expenses, which will benefit approximately 140,000 children and approximately 82,000 families across the state.

The Education Scholarship and Program Tax Credit portion of the act will benefit children especially from low-income and working-class families by expanding private K-12 scholarship opportunities and increasing resources for public school programming.

Nonprofit organizations that serve children in public schools, such as by operating pre-kindergarten or after-school programs, or providing arts, music, tutoring or other educational activities, require revenue sources in various forms.

Rally_061215BUnder this portion of the Education Scholarship and Program Tax Credit, public school students and educators will benefit from $27 million in new funds for education improvement programs.

It will substantially increase the ability of these organizations to raise charitable funds and expand their educational reach in the communities they serve.

The Instructional Materials and Supplies Credit will reimburse teachers who pay out of their own pockets to buy supplies for their classrooms. Public school teachers will be eligible for $200 to support the purchase of instructional materials and supplies for use in classrooms. This credit will benefit educators and students throughout the state, and will be administered on a first come, first served basis.

“Long Island’s parochial, private and public schools are among the very best in the world,” said Lavine. “The education they provide our children is nothing less than outstanding and they all deserve our gratitude and support.”

He continued: “Their dedication to excellence is a major factor in our remarkable quality of life. Governor Cuomo’s most recent educational assistance proposal presents some compelling concepts. I will continue to remain dedicated to equitable funding for public and parochial education in New York State as this matter is debated in the closing days of our legislative session.”

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