The Chronicle’s Feb. 24 article “More funding options available for day schools responding to budget shortfall” presents a very one-sided view of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program. The essence of the program is that businesses and pass-through entities receive a 75 percent or 90 percent tax credit for participating in it. For example, a donation of $100,000 would yield at least a $75,000 tax savings for the donor.
The article fails to mention that the commonwealth is facing a severe budget shortfall. This tax revenue reduction literally takes funds from all Pennsylvanians because there will be less money available for public education, medical assistance and other health and human services. People facing financial struggles, including many within the Jewish community, are paying for this.
Additionally, this program also flies in the face of the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, which indicates that church and state shall remain separate. Even though it appears that private money is going directly to these religious day schools, in reality every Pennsylvanian is paying for this unconstitutional program.
Debbie Levy McKenney