Felder Champions Legislation to Provide Assistance to Public Schools and Tuition-Paying Families

Simcha Felder

February 24, 2014

Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the New York City Education Subcommittee, and Senator Martin Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) have sponsored legislation which will create an education investment tax credit in New York State.

Bill number S4099-A will generate increased funding for education by enhancing existing tax benefits for charitable donations. The goal of the bill is to help public schools, non-profit organizations supporting public schools, and Pre-K programs. The bill also provides a tax credit to public and non-public school teachers for out-of-pocket school supply expenses, and assists many low- and middle-income families whose children attend private or religious schools and require scholarships.

“This vital legislation will bring much-needed assistance to both public and private school parents and educators,” said Senator Felder. “Families with children enrolled in religious or private institutions will at long last get relief from back-breaking and escalating tuition costs. Public school parents and students will benefit from increased programmatic funding and new, state-of-the-art technologies. We need to invest in the future of New York State and the education of all New York’s children. This bill achieves that on multiple levels and I am extremely proud to be sponsoring this measure in the Senate. Getting this legislation passed is a top priority for me and I will continue to work tirelessly until it becomes law.”

The tax credit can be applied against New York State personal income, corporate, bank, franchise, or insurance taxes. Under the proposed law, contributions can be made to school districts, individual public schools, and community-based organizations, as well as to non-profit organizations that provide scholarships for students who attend private schools.

Senator Marty Golden stated, “This legislation will advance New York State’s interest in providing the highest quality of education to all students. This tax credit would encourage donations to schools, scholarship funds and support families of students educated through home school programs. Additionally, by permitting teachers and school staff to claim a credit for the purchase of classroom instructional materials and supplies, we are improving the value of lessons taught in our classrooms.”

“Senators Marty Golden and Simcha Felder and Assemblyman Michael Cusick have secured the support of Governor Cuomo and the vast majority of their legislative colleagues for the Education Investment Tax Credit proposal because it helps both tuition-paying families and our public schools,” said James Cultrara, Director for Education at the New York State Catholic Conference. “It's win-win proposals like this that should become law.”

“The Scholarship Tax Credit is an idea whose time has come.  Public schools will benefit, nonpublic schools will benefit – and most of all, needy families will benefit by gaining access to scholarship funds for their children’s education,” remarked Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel, Executive Director of Agudath Israel.

“So many dedicated legislators have shown their support for this bill, and they are to be commended,” added Senator Felder. “I want to specifically thank Assembly Members Lentol; Colton; Cymbrowitz; Hikind; Jacobs; Ortiz; and Weinstein.”  

The final details of the bill, including the specific tax credit amounts, are in the process of being negotiated between the Senate, the Assembly, and the Governor’s office.