ALBANY, N.Y. – Support for the proposed education investment tax credit was pushed by Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan was in Albany on Tuesday.
Cardinal Dolan spent the day in the State Capitol, speaking with Governor Cuomo, Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, urging them to pass the education investment tax credit legislation in this year's state budget.
"We've got labor, we've got business. We've got democrats, we've got republicans, we got kids, we got their parents. This is bringing people together on behalf of our kids," Dolan said.
According to the New York State Catholic Conference, the bill would create a new tax credit for those who make a charitable donation for education purposes. However, Richard Lannuzzi, President of the New York State United Teachers believes the proposal suggests otherwise.
"We can make believe as the lobbyists are trying to do that this is about middle class families and cutting them a break but at the end of the day, this is about providing another opportunity for your wealthy benefactors and your hedge fund operators to shift more and more public dollars out of public education into the private sector," said Lannuzzi.
Dolan and his supporters claim low income and middle class students would benefit up to $150 million annually. The benefit is something Catholic Central High School senior Terah Jones' family would cherish.
"My grandma has to send, we'll she doesn't have to but she chooses to send seven grand kids to Catholic school because she knows it will better us in the long run. I know right now, for me and my family, we actually are on the brink of going to public school because we cannot afford it anymore. It's just so expensive," said Jones.
According to Bishop Howard Hubbard, if the Albany Catholic Diocese had the education investment tax credit in place in 2009, the Albany Diocese would not have needed to close as many schools.