For the past few years, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn has been working with the other Catholic dioceses in New York State, as well as Jewish and Protestant leaders, to build support for the Education Investment Tax Credit (A2551), the proposed bill that would raise funds for public schools and strengthen organizations that provide scholarships to children attending private and parochial schools. Enacting this legislation would empower parents to choose to send their children to private and parochial schools.
What follows are some of the Diocese’s efforts thus far in 2015:
- Futures in Education, the foundation that provides scholarship money to families in need of assistance with tuition, has worked to inform others of the importance of this bill.
- For the 2013-2014 academic year, Futures in Education awarded $7.9 million to 5,901 recipients.
- Annually, an additional $11 million in financial need goes unfulfilled, as some families receive no scholarships and more than half receive funds that come short of their calculated need.
- For Assemblywoman Roxanne Persaud’s district, Futures in Education directed $253,000 for 196 students to three schools for the 2013-2014 year.
- Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio sent letters to every Assembly Member in Brooklyn and Queens, with co-sponsors receiving a letter of gratitude and non-co-sponsors receiving a plea for support.
- Catholic school officials have met with many Assembly Members at their offices in Albany to explain why they should support the bill.
- The Office of the Superintendent has worked with principals all over the Diocese to inform them about the Education Investment Tax Credit and to help them recruit their faculty and the parents of their students as supporters.
- Parents and students have called and written letters to Assembly Members urging them to support the Education Investment Tax Credit and to help get it passed in the Assembly.