Pennsylvania has two programs that will spend a combined $470 million in 2023-2024 to provide taxpayer-funded vouchers to private and religious schools: the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs.  

Since their inception in 2001, the EITC and OSTC programs have provided more than $2.6 billion in taxpayer-funded support for private school vouchers. Yet Pennsylvanians know virtually nothing about who has benefitted from these programs or how this funding has been spent.

We are very excited about House Bill 2063, which was recently introduced by State Representative Joe Ciresi. This legislation aims to take a first and very important step toward creating some transparency and basic accountability for these tax credit voucher programs.

In a nutshell, House Bill 2063 proposes to lower the family income limit for eligible students, require that this limit be enforced, and require reporting and public disclosure of information that will allow for a meaningful evaluation of program effectiveness and an understanding of whether or not scholarships are actually going to those students who need them the most.

It is long past time for the legislature to enact reforms that will create very basic accountability and transparency for nearly half a billion tax dollars spent on school vouchers annually.  

State law requires extensive reporting and accountability for public schools that receive tax dollars. It is a reasonable expectation that state lawmakers would also require private schools that receive tax dollars to provide basic information that will ensure that a meaningful evaluation of the programs is possible.

We most strongly urge advocates to ask your state representatives to co-sponsor HB 2063and to support the legislation this session. You can call your state representative’s office and leave a message with their staffer.

Or click HERE to send a quick email.

The 2022 Independent Fiscal Office report on the EITC/OSTC voucher programs states on p. 32 (emphasis mine),

“Due to the statutory limits on data that may be collected related to the ETC, the IFO is unable to determine if the tax credit substantially enhances educational opportunities available to all Pennsylvania students. Subsidized tuition clearly increases opportunities that may not otherwise be available to certain students, but it is not possible to comment on whether state funds have been used effectively due to lack of general and specific outcome data. If the tax credit will be re-evaluated in the future, additional data are needed to reliably assess program efficiency and effectiveness.”

Click HERE to send a quick email asking your state representative to cosponsor HB 2063.


To learn more about why proposals for NEW AND ADDITIONAL school vouchers are a terrible idea, join a webinar we will be holding on either Tuesday, March 19 or Thursday, Marck 21. You can pick the date that works best for you–and bring a friend or two!

Click HERE to register for the webinar.

Thank you for your consideration of this important issue and for your support of public education.


Susan Spicka, Executive Director, Education Voters of PA

PS: Please find details about HB 2063 below.

HB 2063 proposes to:

  • Lower the family eligibility income limits for students who are eligible to receive EITC/OSTC private school vouchers– currently the highest in the country – to 200% of the federal poverty line.
  • Close loopholes to ensure that scholarship organizations cannot keep more than 10% of the funding they receive for their administrative expenses.
  • Require scholarship organizations to report how they spent the funding that they did not use to provide vouchers to students.
  • Require scholarship organizations to retain records verifying applicant household income for a period of three years and make those records available to the Department of Community and Economic Development upon request.
  • Require private and religious schools that receive tax dollars through the program to report:
    • Any changes in tuition from the previous year
    • School-level demographic data and the demographic composition of scholarship recipients
    • For scholarship recipients, in the previous school year, the number who graduated, re-enrolled in the same school or enrolled in another school
    • Aggregate school performance data at the school level and for scholarship recipients, including student performance on assessments administered to the grade level in the building, graduation rate, attendance rate and any other data required by the department
    • Overall and disaggregated data on school discipline
    • Information on services provided by the school for students with disabilities and English language learners.
    • A school that permanently closes its operations and has enrolled a scholarship recipient within the past three years shall notify the department of its closure
  • Requires scholarship organizations to report the following for each student who receives a voucher:
    • Indicate if the student has a disability
    • The dollar amount of the award
    • The total amount of tuition and fees charged to the applicant and the percentage of the application’s total tuition and fees offset by the award
    • The household income of the recipient
    • For the year in which the award was used:
      • The applicant’s school district of residence
      • The name of the school entity that the applicant attended
      • The applicant’s grade level
    • For the year prior to the year in which the award was used:
      • The name of the applicant’s school district of residence
      • The name of the school entity that the applicant attended
    • For each scholarship award that is denied to an applicant:
      • An indicator of whether the applicant was an eligible student or eligible student with a disability
      • The applicant’s family household income
      • For the year that the scholarship was declined
        • The name of the applicant’s school district of residence.
        • The name of the school entity that the applicant attended
        • The applicant’s grade level
      • For the year prior to the year in which the scholarship award was denied:
        • The name of the applicant’s school district of residence
        • The name of the school entity that the applicant attended