Securing Local and State Funding for All Our Children
Every Jewish day school and yeshiva should offer an affordable, high-quality education in a safe, learning environment. To make this vision a reality, Teach PA fights to secure state funding for nonpublic schools and to encourage advocacy and civic engagement in Jewish communities across the state.
Teach PA is the only Jewish group in the state focused exclusively on day school advocacy. By working directly with school leaders and parents, Teach PA assesses needs and communicates on behalf of the schools with coalition partners and with legislators. Teach PA values the work of fellow organizations, both in an out of the Jewish community and continues to strengthen these partnerships.
Scholarship Dollars for Day School Students
50,000 Scholarships awarded annually to nonpublic school students through EITC and OSTC (Educational Improvement Tax Credit and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit)
- Teach PA worked with coalition partners to secure a $25 million expansion—from a $75 million to $100 million allocation—of the 16 year-old Educational Improvement Tax Credit (or EITC) program. The EITC program authorizes tax credits for businesses and individuals who make contributions to educational improvement or scholarship organizations.
- Teach PA also advocated with partners for the $50 million Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program (OSTC). Started for the 2012-2013 school year, this program provides scholarships for low-income Jewish families living within the catchment area of Pennsylvania’s bottom 15 percent of schools. 22 percent of Jewish Day School students in Pennsylvania receive a tax credit scholarship.
Security Guards for Non-Public Schools $40,000 grant for security guard
- Teach PA, in coalition with the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, worked towards the passage of Senate Bill 10, which increased funding for school safety from $500,000 to $8.5 million. The law expanded the schools eligible for the School Safety Grant Program to include all public and nonpublic schools.
- Pennsylvania’s Office for Safe Schools operates a program where private schools can apply for $40,000 grant to hire a school police officer. Schools must hire the school police officer through a state-approved vendor, and the grant money is paid directly to the chosen vendor. Funding levels are set by the annual budget process, with $1.6 million available in the 2016-2017 school year; of that, grants were awarded to three private school, all of which are Jewish schools.
Ongoing Policy Work
Security is of utmost importance for Jewish day schools. Teach PA will work with schools to maximize all available funding and increase funding levels.
Teach PA will support the continuation of these critical programs and continue educating schools in advocacy around them.
Partner with Teach PA and play a role in advocacy. Participate in relationship-building with legislators, letter-writing campaigns, activating voters, traveling to Harrisburg, and more. We need you! Get involved now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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Philadelphia, PA 19103