A rally at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on March 13 in Fort Greene continued the drumbeat of support for passage of the Education Investment Tax Credit proposal currently being considered by Albany legislators.
The bill offers a tax credit to people who donate to public schools and to scholarship funds for parochial school. The bill has broad bipartisan support in Albany – including urban and suburban lawmakers in both parties in the Assembly and the Senate, as well as from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The Brooklyn rally came after rallies in East Harlem, the Bronx and Staten Island and in advance of a rally on Long Island. They have been sponsored by the Coalition for Opportunities in Education.
One mother, Marie Bathelmy, whose son Gabriel is a kindergartner at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Academy in Bushwick, said: “The Education Investment Tax Credit would make a reason difference for families like mine and so many others. It would literally change lives by giving more children access to scholarships, strengthening neighborhood schools and after-school programs and supporting teachers.”
Speaking at the rally, her message to lawmakers was: “Please make sure you pass the Education Investment Tax Credit with the budget so Gabriel and thousands of kids just starting out in school will have better opportunities.”
Actor Malik Yoba, star of the Fox TV series “Empire,” called upon Gov. Cuomo and the state legislature to make sure the new state budget includes a plan to increase investment in public school programs and scholarships for low-income and working families.
Some 140 groups from across the state – perhaps the most wide-ranging, multiracial, multiethnic and multi-religious coalition ever assembled for a bill pending in Albany – support the Education Investment Tax Credit.
Supporters represent the state’s rich ethnic, racial, cultural, religious and geographic diversity – including 29 labor unions as well as 111 nonprofits involved in public and private education, immigration services and civil rights.