Almost $269,000 in scholarship money was donated last week by eight businesses that participated in the state Educational Improvement Tax Credit program.
The Harrisburg-based Bridge Educational Foundation made the announcement during an Oct. 28 news conference at St. Hubert High School.
The participating businesses are Aegis Security Insurance, Chesapeake Energy, CSX Transportation, Enterprise Holdings, Malady & Wooten, Penn Jersey Paper, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan and Waste Management. They donated $268,950 in EITC scholarship money.
Bridge Educational Foundation provides a bridge between Pennsylvania employers and students, helping more than 11,000 families with students in 500-plus schools spread out across 59 counties.
“We are pleased to be a part of one of the most innovative and successful education programs in the country,” said Joseph Gerdes, a Bridge founder. “Our partnership with forward-thinking corporations make it possible to help thousands of families each year with tuition aid.”
In all, students in 30 schools benefited from last week’s contributions.
Those schools included Archbishop Ryan, Father Judge, Little Flower, Nazareth Academy and St. Hubert high schools; Holy Innocents, Nazareth Academy, Resurrection Regional, St. Anselm, St. Cecilia, St. Christopher, St. Dominic, St. Martin of Tours and St. Matthew elementary schools; CORA Services Early Years Preschool; Holmesburg Baptist Christian School; Lassin Early Learning Center Preschool; Northeast YMCA Preschool; and Congregations of Shaare Shamayim Preschool.
Elected officials in attendance were state Sens. Mike Stack and Christine Tartaglione and state Reps. John Taylor, John Sabatina Jr., Kevin Boyle, Ed Neilson and Brendan Boyle.
“The Educational Improvement Tax Credit delivers better educational opportunities for our children and a better future for our communities because EITC scholarships benefit everyone involved,” Stack said. “To the families who are receiving these unique and worthwhile scholarships: congratulations. To the companies investing in our children: thank you for making a difference.”
The scholarship donations announced last week are part of EITC’s Pre-Kindergarten and K-12 programs. The Pre-Kindergarten initiative provides companies with a tax credit equal to 100 percent of the first $10,000 contributed to a pre-kindergarten scholarship organization during the taxable year. The companies may receive a tax credit equal to 90 percent of any additional amount contributed during the year, up to a maximum of $200,000 per year.
The K-12 EITC tuition program provides companies with a 75-percent tax credit — 90 percent for a two-year commitment — for funds donated to approved, nonprofit scholarship or educational improvement organizations. Businesses may donate up to $400,000 per year through the K-12 program.
“Enterprise Holdings believes strongly in the value of education,” said Bobby Keyes, a graduate of St. Matthew and Father Judge and the company’s vice president and general manager in southeastern Pennsylvania. “Our company has helped hundreds of families across Pennsylvania during the seven years we have participated in Pennsylvania’s EITC program. Our company is celebrating its 57th year in operation and is proud to support the communities that have made it successful over the past five decades.” ••