Bipartisan support shows focus on beneficiaries of scholarships — lower income and working families
ALBANY, NY (January 11, 2016) The Invest in Education Coalition today congratulated the New York Senate upon its overwhelming bipartisan approval of a bill that creates a new scholarship plan aimed at helping lower-income and working families attend private schools, and also creates a first-ever tax benefit for teachers who spend personal funds on classroom supplies.
“This is a major step forward for a program that will help tens of thousands of deserving children who otherwise could not benefit from real school choice,” said Darla Romfo, President, Children’s Scholarship Fund, which, together with its partners, awards scholarships in many locations across the state and only to children living at or near the poverty level.
“For decades children of means could attend the school of their choice either through paying private school tuition or moving to places like Scarsdale or Loudonville or Amherst or Great Neck,” Ms. Romfo said. “This program gives poorer children opportunities previously available only to the wealthy.”
Since its founding in 1998, CSF has provided scholarships worth $654 million dollars to 152,000 deserving children and their families. It is the largest provider of K-8 scholarships in New York State and one of the largest in the country.
The scholarship program is supported by a diverse coalition of educators, education support organizations, community groups, immigration rights advocates, faith leaders, non-profits and labor unions.
In addition to creating the scholarship program, the Senate bill also increases the tax benefit for donations to public school programs, such as art and music that often face cutbacks due to budget constraints.