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.”
BY COUNCILMEMBER JOAN GRONOWSKI
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)