529 Plan distributions for K-12

Submitted by shannon_gottschalk on Thu, 02/22/2018 - 08:36

You can use money contributed to a child's 529 Plan to pay for their K-12 education expenses. Pennsylvania will follow the Federal tax legislation signed into law on December 22, 2017, which includes several new provisions related specifically to 529 plan accounts, beginning with the 2018 tax year:
• Account owners can use assets to pay for qualified K-12 expenses up to $10,000 per year, per student.
• Account owners can treat K-12 withdrawals as qualified education expenses with respect to federal tax and PA PIT purposes.

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ESAs Supporting School Choice in Other States

Submitted by shannon_gottschalk on Thu, 02/08/2018 - 09:29

Educations savings accounts are the future of school choice, and new data out today show how families are using ESAs to customize educational options.

In 2014, Florida became the second state, after Arizona in 2011, to enact education savings accounts (ESAs), which enable families to utilize state funding to customize K-12 schooling options beyond just private school tuition. This year, more than 10,000 Florida students with special needs utilized the program, which is now called the Gardiner Scholarship.

PACAPE Awards Mike Turzai School Choice Champion of the Year

Submitted by shannon_gottschalk on Mon, 02/05/2018 - 15:27

LANCASTER (Jan. 19, 2018) – The Honorable Mike Turzai, PA Speaker of the House and candidate for governor was awarded the Pennsylvania affiliate of the Council on American Private Education (PACAPE) School Choice Champion Award at a ceremony on Friday, Jan. 26 at the Doubletree Willow Valley Resort in Lancaster, PA. PACAPE hosted the event as a part of the Association of Christian School’s (ACSI) Northeast Regional Leadership Conference where 350 private school administrators attended.

"Fairness" Act

Submitted by brittney_grimm on Mon, 05/22/2017 - 14:24

Gov. Tom Wolf’s “Fairness Act” is anything but fair. Please take a look at the following documents that explain the "Fairness" Act. One of the documents points to the connection this Act has to bathrooms and showers and the other gives a general overview of the negative impacts with this legislation. This bill (HB1410) was formally introduced in the House last week by State Representative Dan Frankel. In the Senate, it is SB613.

- "Fairness" Act
- "Fairness" Act Affects Bathrooms and Showers

CALL TO ACTION: Oppose SB613 / HB1410
1) Contact your State Senator and State Representative to OPPOSE the “Fairness Act.”
2) Ask State House and Senate leadership to OPPOSE the “Fairness Act.”
3) Ask candidates for Pennsylvania Governor where they stand on the “Fairness Act.”

Education Secretary DeVos Meets with CAPE Leaders

Submitted by brittney_grimm on Tue, 04/04/2017 - 12:37

On March 20, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos met with the CAPE (Council for Private Education) board of directors and representatives of the state affiliates for the first time; she reaffirmed her commitment to expanding educational opportunities for children and parents. “We have to stay focused on what’s right for kids,” said Mrs. DeVos, sounding a recurring theme in her young administration. “If we can keep asking ourselves the question about what is right for individual children, I think we’re going to come to a good and reasonable answer.” Mrs. DeVos said one of her priorities was to advance parental choice in education in a significant way that would “help parents and children who are trapped all too often in places that don’t work for them.” But she also said her immediate goals are to successfully steer the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act and to get her team of senior officials on board. Beyond that, she wants to advance the public policy conversation about higher education and lifelong learning.

To read more about this meeting with DeVos and to take a look at the meeting CAPE had with House Education Chairwoman Virgina Foxx, take a look at the April edition of CAPE Outlook.

Meeting with Rep. Mike Turzai & other State Representatives

Submitted by brittney_grimm on Tue, 04/04/2017 - 11:03

On March 22, 2017, a coalition of private school administrators and the PA Family Institute met with state representatives to thank them for their continued support of EITC/OSTC programs. Meetings were held with sponsors of the legislation, the House Majority leader, the Speaker of the House and others. ACSI PA leaders were able to share first-hand accounts of how this program has made a differnece in the lives of students and families across the Commonwealth. Additionally, pleas were made on behalf of pending proposals for ESAs (Educational Savings Accounts), a program which, if passed, will enable many families to have more of a choice in the education of their children. Finally, we were able to continue the dialogue of reminding our legislators that any new legislation dealing with education in the Commonwealth needs to continue to allow schools with specific mission-statements to continue to both hire employees who support the mission and operate the school according to the mission. These meetings are crucial as nothing has more of an impact on legislators than hearing from their constituents in person. It requires time away from the office, but it is a worthy and necessary investment for the good of school choice and religious liberty.

75 Million EITC Tax Bill Passes House

Submitted by merle_skinner on Mon, 03/27/2017 - 00:57

With a strong bi-partisan vote of 147-39, House Bill 250 cleared its first hurdle: passage in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The measure proposes to increase Educational Improvement Tax Credits (EITC) by $50 million (raising it to $175 million) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credits (OSTC) by $25 million (raising it to $75 million).