Gronowski Reintroduces‭ ‬“Tuition Tax Credit‭” ‬Legislation

eHezi Archives 32 Comments

Gronowski_Joan Yonkers, NY — Yonkers Third District Councilmember Joan Gronowski has reintroduced legislation calling for a “Tuition Tax Credit”, Co-sponsored by Minority Leader, John Murtagh, which would assist low and middle-income families in sending their children to a bona fide school of their choice, and would relieve the state of some of the burden of funding public education by allowing more students to attend private schools.  

Gronowski first introduced this legislation in February 2009, but it died in committee without ever having been discussed.  Gronowski said, “With the increased closings of parochial elementary schools throughout the state, it is imperative that remedies be offered to those parents who have opted to send their children to private and parochial school, but who are still obligated to fund the public school system via their tax dollars.  Moreover, it is inevitable that the closures of these elementary schools will lead to a student feeder effect on the public schools, and will tax their limited resources and put a further burden on the taxpayer.”  Gronowski continued, “Parochial high schools will also suffer due to loss of the natural progression of students from parochial/private elementary schools.”

Arizona, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida and Iowa are among states with an education tax credit.



WHEREAS, a great number of parochial schools in the City of Yonkers and County of Westchester have been forced to close their doors due to declining enrollment and increasing costs; and

WHEREAS, these schools, which have for generations been stabilizing forces in our community, have immeasurably contributed to the City of Yonkers, and the closing of these schools through the years has had devastating effects on many of the parents and children of our city; and

WHEREAS, parents who choose to send their children to parochial and private schools, must also bear a financial burden to support the public school system, with no financial relief for their families; and

WHEREAS, parochial and private schools in both Westchester and Putnam save taxpayers millions of dollars through private education; and

WHEREAS, a mass exodus of students forced to leave parochial and private schools, would create an overwhelming and insurmountable burden on our public school system; and

WHEREAS, a Tuition Tax Credit Act would aid parents themselves — not private schools — providing taxpayers the opportunity to contribute to public and private schools and to organizations that distribute money for individuals making tuition payments at private schools; and

WHEREAS, Tuition tax credits are more beneficial for taxpayers than tax deductions, and allow for a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the taxpayers' liability, allowing taxpayers to contribute to both public and private schools, and when parents choose to use tax-credit money for their children to attend private schools, it provides a benefit to all taxpayers by reducing the cost of public education.

WHEREAS, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida and Iowa are among states with education tax credit,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council of the City of Yonkers requests the introduction of state legislation for a Tuition Tax Credit legislation which would assist low and middle-income families in sending their children to a bona fide school of their choice, and would relieve the state of some of the burden of funding public education by allowing more students to attend private schools, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Yonkers City Clerk be and hereby is directed to forward a duly certified copy of this Resolution to each member of the State Senate Delegation, each member of the State Assembly Delegation, Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker.

Reintroduced into Rules:  11/16/10

(First introduced 02/03/09 – died in committee)



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eHeziGronowski Reintroduces‭ ‬“Tuition Tax Credit‭” ‬Legislation

Comments 32

  1. As the parent of a 9th grader who went through 10 years in the PEARLS system, I finally made the drastic decision to send my child to a private school. My child was on the Honor Roll or High Honor Roll through most of his years there. As a native of Yonkers myself, growing up in the 60’s and 70’s I went through 12 years of Catholic School. I was thrilled that I could send my son to public school, for free and to a top Yonkers School. I wasn’t disappointed, that is, until 7th grade. I found middle school at Pearls to be a totally different experience. I saw my child go from A student to a B student and sometimes B-. Very little intervention. He managed to maintain his grades with an over 85 average by the end of the year. However, his math grade went down significantly. And although his math grade dropped, from one semester to the next, I was not even called in for a parent/teacher meeting. I heard the same complaint from several parents. The attitude of SOME of the teachers and I stress SOME, was just unacceptable to me. I could see my child “falling through the cracks” and no one was intervening. So, even though my child had consistent grades through 6th grade, an 85 average at graduation, absolutely no disciplinary problems and doing mostly advanced classes, he was turned down at Yonkers High. This set us on a new path. I did write a 3 page letter and as a tax paying citizen, I wanted answers. By the time the answer came, and he did get into YHS, we opted for private school. My son now has a 90 average again. He’s slated for Global Honors, English Honors, etc. I find Ms. Gronowski’s proposal quite attractive and something that may actually help improve an over-crowded, understaffed system.
    Too many good students are falling through the cracks when they get to middle school. I felt my child was in danger of this. I’ve heard from other parents who feel the same. I’m using college funds to get my child through high school. Give these kids the credit they deserve. The public schools are only delivering to a point. I don’t blame the schools or the teachers. I blame the system. My son had some truly remarkable teachers at PEARLS. Teachers that made a real impact him life and his studies. But he was still falling through the cracks at middle school, and no one seemed to care. Something tells me he wouldn’t be pulling a 90 average at YHS. And by graduation he’d be another statistic. I wouldn’t let that happen, but the school would. Other parents and students don’t have the choice we had.
    Give us the credit. We’ve paid enough in taxes and we’ve put up with so much financial corruption its about time the city gave us something back.

  2. If the parochial schools in Yks. keep closing and the students are forced into the public schools, we will have to hire more teachers and provide more space. A tax credit would seem to be the better deal for the taxpayers.
    P.S. 45% of the population pay NO taxes. Hmmm wonder how many have kids in the public schools?

  3. What a terrific idea! Keep fighting for this Joan! The only people who object to something like this are A) public school teacher unions which care more about thier benefits than about kids B) people who have no clue that parochial schools save taxpayers a bundle and turn out a better “product” with less money spent per student C) the anti-religious bigots who are afraid of the values these children will be taught – such as respect for God, life and country, integrity, etc D) some of the same people screaming for “pro-choice” when it comes to tax dollars going to poor women to poor women to abort their babies yet give no choice to poor parents to get their kids a decent education.

  4. excuse me again anon but I don’t have that insider ethnic code down as you seem to. Maybe you fancy yourself as being street smart but I don’t even think you could watch your own back on the street. All I know is that I see plenty of UGGs, costly sneakers, Coach Bags blah blah on most of the older kids I see in the public schools. Case closed.

  5. As a former teacher in the YPS, I can see why parents would leave for private schools. This district has a way of dismantling excellent schools and turning them into garbage. Take Yonkers High School, it was suppose to be the academic high school. Pierorazio comes along and dumps15 special education classes of severly learning disabled students, all the Roosevelt bilingual students and the screening process has been dropped. The school was rated 30 then 80 this year I am sure it will not be ranked any where. Our superintendent has created failing schools, inadequate schools and an educational mess in Yonkers. Anyone who knows Pierorazio and Constantino will tell you the lights were turned OFF in Yonkers when they started playing their spin and shell games. the data shows all our schools are in trouble. Yonkers High School shoowed us tnatbour students had great potential with a great program that will attract those parents that were disenchanted with YPS. Pierorazio killed ten program. Shame on you Amicone for letting it happen on your watch.

  6. the comment about 200 sneakers was aimed at black
    kids…stop fooling yourself and the rest of the posters…its a code word and you know it

  7. to anon at 6:31 pm
    Excuse me, but I cannot believe the inference I get from your posting that a remark about “sneakers” was racial. You sir or madam seem to be the bigot. You seem to insinuate that only one ethnic or racial group which wears sneakers? What planet are you from? You better look in your own mirror, as you have clearly and undeniably proven yourself the racist.

  8. look you guys drop the racial nonsense about the
    sneakers…this is about education..the african
    american community as was pointed out in an op
    ed in the new york times the other day has to take
    ownership of the failure of the families to foster
    education as a goal for their kids…the public
    school system is the only way for this to happen
    poor kids can;t afford parochial or private school
    but it is crucial that poor kids not drop out of
    high school and become a burden to all of us..
    they have to be given the tools to learn and the
    motivation to want to ..this is not an ideological
    debate minority parents need to insure that the next
    generation has either education or the skill set to
    work pay taxes and be productive…this is not
    about race or class its about survival

  9. Hey Dick,
    What don’t you understand about the nightmare that the public school system has become. Have you read ANY of the postings before yours which address the fact that we are paying for breakfast, lunch and God knows what else for these kids who, for the most part, throw the food away while walking to the garbage in their $200 sneakers. We now have pre-K, a taxpayer funded baby sitter wherein a good deal of the parents don’t even work. Are you kidding me, Dick? You compare your tax dollars supporting the library vis-a-vis the Board of Education…Hey moron, the BoE takes up more than HALF OF THE CITY’S BUDGET, DICK.

  10. What a retarded idea, Joan. How about giving me a library tax credit, since I chhose to buy my books at Barnes & Noble, instread of use the taxpayer-funded public library??Better yet, give me a links tax credit, since I prefer to play at St. Andrews instead of Sprain Lake. A choice is a choice. Government should not be subsidizing people’s choices.

  11. maybe they should opt out of the public schools…if enough people do that than perhaps the public schools would be under more pressure to do the right thing…you are the one who is not addressing the real issue…$20K to educate a kid in YOnkers, can you believe that? And look how the schools are STILL failing.

  12. you still are not addressing the fiscal implications
    of a universal tax credit for parochial school many people would opt out of paying
    for public schools if they could get a credit from
    the may be talking hundreds of million
    of dollars and the state cannot afford to undertake
    that in this fiscal climate….and it is pie in the
    sky to think that cuomo or democratic assembly will
    permit this kind of flight from public eduation
    sponsored with taxpayer money…its not going to happen

  13. if she can get any support from her colleagues it will be a first and I don’t think she will care who it is if they will help her lobby for this bill.

  14. to anon at 7:43
    It is for the entire state….pay attention .. it would be a home rule message to have the state make these changes which would cover the entire state…and since when would an income tax credit or the like break the bank. If these parochial and private school students are forced into the public schools, wait until you see how fast their bank explodes.
    Morever, you know nothing about gronowski if you think she grandstands. She takes a hit for everything she initiates and she doesn’t pander. She introduced campaign finance reform – a measure which would have prevented politicians from taking money from developers (which she never did, by the way) and other special interest groups – is that pandering too? Try funding both these garbage schools and the private school you are forced to pay for, and then think it is pandering.
    Don’t you people get tired of using that adjective when you simply don’t like something? To you bozos, one is either pandering when one attempts to actually do something which isn’t a benign “feel good” type of useless legislation, or they are useless and do absolutely nothing. You can’t win for trying and I don’t know why she even bothers. If she had any sense she would leave this city, period.

  15. another entitlement is all this is..what makes you
    think that the state of new york which is running
    a billion dollar deficit will give yonkers financial
    help…even if you think the schools are crap which
    i can’t argue with…bloomberg just cut 10,000 jobs
    in the city…cuomo is not going to raise taxes but
    he is going to cut spending..and presumably that includes spending on education…so where is it
    that you think the legislature is going to get funding for this..and why just for yonkers as opposed to the
    entire state and if this is such a great idea
    why aren’t andrea and mike spano in on it…because
    its grandstanding by two potential candidates for
    mayor who will have nothing to say about whether
    the legislation is ever introduced or passed

  16. It’s a great idea, but in a left-wing moon-bat state like NY, it’ll never pass. The Democrats are way too up the a** of the teacher’s unions.

  17. we’re talking about a little bit of relief here folks, probably not even what our city officials use in gas money for their city cars…

  18. Good idea but the Teachers Union and administration will fight this with everything they can muster.
    In Yonkers it would result in the end of the public school system.

  19. what do you mean wrong idea? All the changes you suggest in lieu of are great, but have a snowball’s chance in hell of being accomplished. You are dreaming and obviously don’t pay attention to what goes in in the real world in Yonkers or at the state level. These parents need help in the here and now, not in your dream world. Again, it will create competition in the public schools and all you suggest will come about in the process.

  20. After 13 years we spend almost a quarter of a million in today’s dollars per student, too right they all should have PHD’s. Until we get back to the basics and allow no exceptions we will have this shitty education system. It’s like this in all of the metro areas nationwide. We cannot continue to repeat these failures.
    Competition is how standards improve. The public school system needs all the competition it can get from charter and private schools. The only ones against this are the usual crew, who have vested interests be in union members, admin. staff and race baiting lawyers, who all profit handsomely from the present crappy system.

  21. Wrong idea. The state does not have the money to fund this program. How about improving the public schools by getting rid of marginal teachers, throwing out the “students” that are there only to take up a seat, get rid of state and federal mandates that are a complete waste. With the money that is spent on each student, you would think each kid would graduate with a PHD.

  22. to anon at 1:27
    what in God’s name do mean “keep giving it away”…remedy like this is long overdue, whether by tax credits as they have in their legislation, or vouchers. The only people who object to this are the public school teachers who are worried that more options for parents will mean less students for the public schools. It really means that the competition will force them to have better results, which may be to taxing for their psyches…I’m sick of paying for illegal students in the public school system and for the private school to which I was forced to send my child…also tired of paying for their free lunches and breakfast….this is an insane asylum….

  23. This is relief for those who pay the majority of taxes in the city, the homeowners. And everybody knows the schools are crap. Go Go Gronowski.

  24. admirable but political and short sighted. the city is heading toward a control board and the city council is business as usual….amazing. lets attack the teachers! big head

  25. Sure thing just keep giving it does subsidizing with state money kids going to private
    school cut the cost of public education in yonkers?
    this is just another pandering gimmick that will
    cost the state even more and the governor will veto
    it…charter schools are another matter

  26. Great idea Joan. In the land of the free, time to give parents a choice. It’s sad that in Yonkers many, especially on the east side are forced to pay twice for their childrens education. Once in property taxes and secondly for private schools. This is because the Yonkers Public School system is shit. With a 46% graduation rate, nothing describes it better than shit.
    You go Girl, and forget Murtagh, he’s just hitching himself to your wagon.

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