Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) are vital programs that assist many thousands of needy children.  They do it by enabling Pennsylvania businesses to donate to qualified scholarship organizations.  Donor companies then receive a tax credit, within specified limits, against their Pennsylvania tax liability. The resulting scholarships benefit children whose families meet certain low income criteria.

Unfortunately, the Department of Community and Economic Development is currently unwilling to issue authorizations to firms ready to make contributions to qualified scholarship organizations.

The real world result that flows from the refusal to issue contribution authorizations is to prevent companies from gaining the approvals they urgently need in order to make contributions and secure the resulting tax credits required for the current calendar year. This creates a very serious problem.  If these contributions are not made, then scholarships will not be available for thousands of students who attend Catholic and many other private schools. In the case of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, this immediately builds pressure for school closures as early as next year, because the EITC and OSTC scholarships are vital to parents’ ability to afford their children’s education.

This situation is time sensitive, because the end of the year rapidly approaches.  The administrative details of the programs require authorizations for companies and actual contributions to the scholarship organizations before year end.

I ask Catholics and all persons who support good educational options for the poor to contact Governor Wolf today via this website – — and to ask for his support in issuing these authorizations.

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia