Parents are in the position to make the best education decisions for their children. That's why I support the Education Investment Tax Credit (EITC). It will empower parents to pick the right schools to fit their children's needs. It will encourage private donations to support a wide range of school options from traditional public schools, to charter schools, to parochial schools and yeshivas. That's a great thing for parents and kids. This bill is a boost to all schools.
It is unfortunate that special interest groups have misled New Yorkers by claiming the EITC is a giveaway to the rich when, in fact, it will help working-class children. Special interest groups that oppose this are rejecting additional support for public schools because they are reflexively against support for non-public schools. They are blatantly putting politics first and kids and families last. Some lawmakers also are putting politics before education. The EITC once had over 90 co-sponsors in the Assembly when only 76 votes are necessary to pass a bill. Shockingly, special interests have bullied lawmakers into dropping their sponsorship of the bill.
The EITC incentivizes private contributions to every school through a tax credit. Your neighborhood public school can raise funds to support extra-curricular activities that might have gone underserved otherwise. The charter schools that are giving kids new opportunities will have the chance to add to their programs. The EITC can and will help every school.
Giving parents more choices in education is the right policy. We all know families who, for example, started in Catholic school and found that public school was a better fit for their children. Likewise, some families start in public school and find the best option for their children is a parochial school. We all know private school teachers who send their kids to public school and public school teachers who send their kids to private school. Children are unique, and one-size-fits-all does them a disservice.
The EITC provides increased funding for all schools. Diverse education options will provide our kids with the best chance to succeed.