In response to the above commentary, Senator Tom Kean, Jr responded:
“Mr. Giordano’s remarks in opposition to OSA show a startling contempt for children and parents of limited means who are forced into failing schools by virtue of their zip code. His remarks, however, actually strengthen the argument in favor of the bill: that the educational establishment is not able or interested in providing an immediate remedy for students in these districts. Children should not be condemned to a subpar education while their schools are being improved; a process that will take a great deal of time.”
Additionally Senator Lesniak responded as well:
“Life is only unfair when we don’t have the courage to change the things we can. And it will continue to be unfair as long as those with the ability to do something to make it fair stand idly by and become resigned to the unfairness. Children from poor families forced to go to chronically failing schools deserve an opportunity to get a quality education. They deserve better from all of us.”
We know 2012 seems a long ways away but, in reality, there are just 32 days until National School Choice Week begins.
Here are three things you can do right now to help make National School Choice Week 2012 a huge success:
Find an event near you to attend or support. Check our events listing daily – new events are being posted all the time.
Better yet, plan your own event! We have all types of resources on our website to help you get started including free documentaries to host a screening and discussion as well as an Event-in-a-Box to help brand your event.
Spread the word about National School Choice Week to your family, friends co-workers and neighbors by sharing a link to our website: www.SchoolChoiceWeek.com.
Along with the New Jersey Catholic Conference, we support the opportunity for parents to have a school transportation system responsive to the needs of all students.
State laws and appropriations should reflect the cost of transportation for all students within statutory mileage limits.
We also support the need for nonpublic school students to be included in all courtesy (hazardous) busing initiatives for those students who live under the mileage limits for their school. (Two miles for elementary students and 2 ½ miles for secondary students.)
The Opportunity Scholarship Act (OSA) is a pilot corporate tax credit scholarship bill that will fund scholarships for low-income students attending the state’s lowest performing, chronically failing public schools. The scholarships would enable students to attend out-of-district public schools, or non-public schools anywhere in the state, that choose to participate in the program.
How is the OSA funded?
Corporations eligible to pay the corporate business tax (CBT) in New Jersey would be allowed to take a 100% tax credit against their CBT obligation for donations made to the OSA scholarship fund.
Who is eligible to receive a scholarship?
A low-income student attending a chronically failing public school in one of the pilot districts as defined by The Act. There are 130 such schools in the bill’s 13 pilot districts. Low-income is defined as no more than 2.5 times the federal poverty level, based on family size. For example, a family of four to be eligible to participate, their income could not exceed $55,000 annually. 25% of the scholarships are also available to low-income students attending non-public schools in the 13 pilot districts. Continue reading What Is the Opportunity Scholarship Act?