HB 521 threatens private education in Virginia

The Virginia Catholic Conference (VCC), the public policy arm of the state’s Catholic bishops, is calling upon all Catholics to voice their opposition to a bill that threatens the affordability of private education. The bill, HB 521, was introduced in the Virginia General Assembly on Monday, Jan. 6. 

If passed, HB 521 would eliminate the Education Improvement Scholarships Tax Credits (EISTC) program, which provides funding for non-public, tuition-based education programs in Virginia though scholarships. Students enrolled in the 30 Catholic schools in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond would be affected, as this year alone, more than 1,300 children attend Catholic schools because of this program.

Without EISTC, many families would lose the opportunity to send their children to Catholic school. Virginia’s only school choice program, EISTC covers the gap between what a family can afford to pay toward tuition and the actual cost of tuition. EISTC is funded from donations to scholarship foundations approved by the Virginia Department of Education, such as the diocese’s McMahon Parater Scholarship Foundation.

To help save the EISTC program, contact your local representative, visit the Virginia Catholic Conference website.

If you are not a member of the VCC’s advocacy network, click here to receive regular Conference email alerts and updates. You can also like the VCC on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and sign up for the blog.

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