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A Rallying Cry Heard Across Harlem and the Bronx

Over the past week, the Partnership schools have played a large role generating support for passage of the Education Investment Tax Credit.

On Friday, March 6th,  St. Athanasius School was the site of a boisterous rally for the bill, proposed in Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget for 2015-2016, passed in the state Senate in January by a bi-partisan majority and due to be adopted by April 1, 2015.

 On Wednesday, March 11th, Cardinal Dolan was joined by Assemblyman Robert Rodriquez and other community, education and civic leaders along with over 380 students from Mount Carmel-Holy Rosary and Our Lady Queen of Angels at another rally held at El Museo del Barrio.  As the Cardinal noted, “There’s no issue with more poignancy, no issue that is more important than the education of our beloved kids.  The good news is there’s currently legislation that is bringing both parties together, liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republican and that is the Education Investment Tax Credit.  We need to pass it so our kids can get the scholarship help they need so they can get the education they deserve.”

The St. Athanasius rally was led by Assemblyman Marco Crespo, chair of the Assembly Hispanic Task Force and new Bronx County Democratic Committee.  Also supporting the rally were Senator Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), Senate Co-leader and Independent Democratic Conference Leader and Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz Sr. (D-Bronx). The Partnership’s own Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer, Kathleen Porter-Magee gave a rousing speech, as she described the Partnership’s six schools and the families served, the challenges faced and how the Education Investment Tax Credit bill would allow even more families to receive the excellent education available at our schools.

Porter-Magee extended the benefits of a Catholic education by stating, “Catholic school Alumni are more than twice as likely to attend college as their public school peers…they are more civically engaged and more committed to service and charity as adults.” She went on to say, “Clearly, the Education Investment Tax Credit would expand the pool of scholarships and empower parents to send their children to the schools of their choice.”

Perhaps the most compelling words came from Edilberta Guerrero, a single mother who works hard to meet the cost of tuition and who noted that without scholarship support, it would be impossible for her sixth grader to attend her school.  Ms. Guerrero noted, “But what I really want is for more families and more mothers like me to give their children hope – hope for an excellent education and hope for a better future”.

Even NY1 got into the action at the Harlem Rally with this piece.

Make a Call and Make a Difference

If you want to help, simply call your local legislator in the Assembly 518-455-4100 and Senate 518-455-2800. An operator will direct your call.  Tell the operator you’d like to speak to your Assemblyperson and Senator and give them your home address.

When you’re connected, tell the staff person on the phone that you are calling to show your support for the Education Investment Tax Credit bill (Assembly bill #1826-C/Senate bill #4099-A)

Here is a script you can use:

Hi. My name is [FIRST NAME, LAST NAME] from [CITY]. I am calling today because I want you to know that I support the Education Investment Tax Credit bill (Assembly bill # 1826-C / Senate bill # 4099-A) that is making it through the New York State Legislature. I am urging the Assembly Member / Senator to support this important bill.

[If you’d like, choose one of the bullets to share below.]

• The Education Investment Tax Credit will incentivize donating to education in a way that rewards ALL schools. 

• The Education Investment Tax Credit will positively benefit ALL kids equally. It’s a fair way to invest by giving public and nonpublic schools the same shot. 

• The Education Investment Tax Credit will generate and encourage new revenue to benefit education without requiring additional property taxes.