This past Monday, the education community was treated to a special briefing by Senator Simcha Felder (D – Brooklyn) and Senator Marty Golden (R, C, I – Brooklyn) where they discussed the Education Investment Incentives Act (EIIA, also known as the Tuition Tax Credit). The EIIA is a groundbreaking bill that allocates $150 million for education scholarships, half of which will be directed to private schools, and the other half going towards additional resources and programming for public schools.
“This is the first time in history that New York State has acknowledged that private schools need help,” said Senator Felder. “Today we have an opportunity to ensure that help is given. The EIIA opens the door to providing that help.”
“We must make sure the Governor and the Assembly uphold their promises to all New Yorkers. They must pass this bill,” emphasized Senator Golden, “Senator Felder was the right man to lead this fight and to go to Albany for you. I am proud to have worked with him on this bill.”
The bill, which was passed in the Senate, has been shepherded along by Senators Felder and Golden, with the strong support of Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. It represents a bipartisan effort to provide critical support in the form of scholarships for children of tuition paying parents and additional resources for public and charter school children. It offers New Yorkers the opportunity to take the amount of tax they owe to New York State, and instead, contribute those dollars to scholarship-granting foundations.
“I have been working to get a bill like this passed for 30 years,” said James Cultrara, the Co-chair for the New York State Coalition for Independent and Religious Schools. “Please, make sure it doesn’t take 31 years to get this done.”
Yoili Rosenfeld, in attendance on behalf of Bobov, commented that “As a member of the leadership of the Bobov community, I am very happy that Senators Felder and Golden took a leadership position and made sure that this bill passed in the Senate, and I am thankful to Senator Felder for organizing this important briefing. Hopefully this year will be the year that this bill will come to fruition to help our community.”
Although the bill has passed in the Senate, it must now make its way through the Assembly where it must be passed and then signed by the Governor. “Together with private and public school administrators and principals, we are organizing a parent petition drive to let the Governor and Assembly know how important this is to us. They must pass the Education Investment Incentives Act now. With G-d’s help, together we will succeed,” said Felder.