Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, through its Institute for Public Affairs, applauded a proposal announced by New York State Governor George Pataki, as part of his new budget proposal, to create a state tax credit of educational instruction expenses for low- and modest-income families.
In the proposed 2006-07 budget announced today, Gov. Pataki presents a refundable state tax credit for $500 per K-12 student to families with an income of under $75,000 per year (and phased out as families reach $90,000 per year) for educational instruction expenses, including tuition, tutoring and others. Under the proposal, families would have to live in jurisdictions (such as New York City) where federal law has identified “failing” schools and parents must be offered a choice of alternative enrollment and/or tutoring services.
Several states, including Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, Minnesota and Illinois, already have various versions of state education tax credits in place and they have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and support to schools and families of school-age children. Such tax credit programs have been upheld by courts in those states and by the U.S. Supreme Court as constitutional.
Stephen Savitsky, president of the Union, and Nathan Diament, director of the Union’s public policy Institute, issued the following statement in reaction to the Governor’s proposal:
The Orthodox Union greatly appreciates the state education tax credit proposal put forward today by Governor George Pataki. The Governor’s proposal is a very good first step toward enacting a program which will empower all families of school-age children in New York. We look forward to working with the Governor and legislators to refine and improve the proposal and see it enacted into law to the benefit of all New Yorkers.