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Education tax credit in New York Senate one-house budget

March 20, 2014 — A new educational investment tax credit in the New York Senate’s one-house budget resolution would give private sector donors a tax credit when they provide money to either public or private schools for things like athletics, after school activities and scholarships. Over three years, the credit would cost the state more than $600 million.

Advocates for traditional public schools are concerned that the credit is a back door way to fund non-public schools.

“It’s a diversion of funds to non-public schools,” the Statewide School Finance Consortium’s Executive Director Rick Timbs told WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom. “The key thing is the obligation is to the public schools—it’s like me handing out money to my neighbors and watching my kids starve.”

Senator David Valesky (IDC – Syracuse) shared a different perspective with Capitol Pressroom host Susan Arbetter.

“I do support it. There’s no question that this is not anti-public school and pro-private school. What this is pro-education, pro-kids—particularly at this time, when we have had to make, over the last couple of budget years, very, very difficult decisions when it comes to funding decisions because of the economic recession because of our own budget situation.”

The New York State budget is due April 1.

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