Murt Co-Sponsors Legislation to Encourage Businesses to Fund Educational Grants
4/4/2014
HARRISBURG -- Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery/Philadelphia) will co-sponsor legislation to create a new Educational Improvement Opportunity Tax Credit program to authorize $50 million in tax credits for businesses that contribute to an Education Improvement Organization that provides grants to school districts with low-achieving schools as a way of improving their academic performance.

“This tax credit program will be an important step in linking businesses and schools to improve education,” Murt said. “Businesses donate money to programs that they believe will benefit their future workforce. These are innovators looking for innovative programs. That’s something we must encourage.”

A low-achieving school is a public school that is ranked in the lowest 15 percent based on combined mathematics and reading scores from the annual state assessments. There are currently an estimated 406 schools in the state that are considered to be low achieving.

School districts receiving the grants could:

• Provide intensive academic tutoring during the school day for all students who are not proficient in reading and math to bring them up to academic proficiency.

• Provide after-school and summer initiatives that include tutoring, mentoring and other social and academic programs.

• Work with social service agencies to provide support and counseling to at-risk students and their families so parents can be more engaged in their child’s education and students can better focus on their schoolwork.

The legislation would complement the existing Educational Opportunity Tax Credit program enacted last session that authorized $50 million in tax credits for businesses that contribute to organizations that provide scholarships for students residing in these low-achieving schools to attend a non-public school.

“With this new Educational Improvement Opportunity Tax Credit program, businesses will then have a choice in how they want to assist students in low-achieving schools to achieve academic success,” Murt said.

The additional $50 million in tax credits for this program would not replace but would be in addition to tax credits provided in the existing Educational Improvement Tax Credit programs.

Representative Thomas P. Murt
152nd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster
267.207.0207
dfoster@pahousegop.com  
RepMurt.com / Facebook.com/RepMurt
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