Paying Corporate PA taxes? Give to EA instead!

Pennsylvania provides a program to help fund financial aid so that students can attend schools like ours.

The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) are two Pennsylvania tax incentive programs that provide tax credits to PA businesses that make donations to scholarship organizations such as the Episcopal Academy.  Both programs provide a credit worth 75% of the total donation for a single year commitment and a 90% credit if the gift is committed for 2 consecutive years.

– Businesses applying for the first time can start applying for both programs on July 1st of 2014.  Businesses that are re-applying can do so starting on May 15th.

– This program is eligible for all businesses that pay PA state corporate taxes.  It does not have to be an exclusively PA incorporated business.

How are we doing?

– Gifts given to Episcopal through the EITC provide financial aid to students from low income households.

– Episcopal has over 150 students who are eligible to receive funding through EITC and over 50 that are eligible to receive funding through the OSTC.

– In 2013, Episcopal received $146,000 in donations made by 18 businesses through the EITC, and received received $115,000 in donations from 4 businesses through the OSTC.

– In 2014, Episcopal received $565,011 in donations made by 14 businesses through the EITC, and received $483,750 in donations made by 10 businesses through the OSTC.


Rigorous support for teachers

One of the more impressive aspects of the Global Online Academy is the teacher-training program. Teachers must complete an extensive series of professional development experiences before they can teach a GOA course.  From the GOA website:

GOA teachers participate in three, 2-week sessions of online training (with roughly 2-4 hours of work per week), followed by a 4-day residential workshop at Islandwood, a learning center in Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Of course, all of the teachers they hire are already experienced teachers from top flight independent schools, so I am impressed with the high expectations they have.

I wanted to learn a little more about what they do, so I asked Michael Nachbar, the Director of GOA for some more information. The three sessions of online training help to “prepare teachers to begin thinking about what it means to teach and learn in an online environment.” Their goal is for teachers to develop “the most engaging online courses possible.”

The residential workshop then allows teachers to develop their specific course with intensive support from colleagues. As a teacher, it must be nice to have an entire team working to help you develop your course!

After these teachers complete their training, GOA provides ongoing support from their instructional design team. They are working with teachers who are already talented and experienced. By supporting them with this level of professional development, they are demonstrating their deep respect for the profession of teaching.

I have been so impressed with the GOA team. They are committed to excellence, and we are thrilled to be working with them.