Emily Cohen / for NewsWorks/WHYY

Lawmakers have approved a bill that would nearly double a tax break for people and businesses who contribute to private school scholarships and similar public school alternatives. 

They did so with almost no support from Democrats. 

90.5 WESA

Republicans in the state House and Senate are briskly moving a bill they say helps low-income students, and that Democrats say is unfairly routing money away from struggling public schools.

The proposed increase to the Educational Improvement Tax Credit will likely to be used as a bargaining chip in ongoing budget negotiations. 

Flickr User Shinichi Sugiyama

More Pennsylvania students and schools would benefit from private funding if State Representative Jim Christiana’s bill to expand two education tax credit programs becomes law.

On the 13th anniversary of the Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC), State Senator Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia) feels supporters still need to fight for the program.

“Do not assume that EITC will survive this budget or the next budget. It requires every year for us to be back here,” said Williams during a rally for the EITC on the capitol steps Wednesday.

The EITC gives a 75% tax credit to companies that donate to a scholarship fund. The tax credit increases to 90% if the company makes the donation for two consecutive years.