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May 8, 2001

CARDINAL BEVILACQUA PRAISES LEGISLATURE
FOR PASSAGE OF EDUCATION TAX CREDIT BILL

Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, welcomed the news that the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a tax credit program as part of an education reform package by a vote of 133 to 64 in the House and 36 to 13 in the Senate. "I commend Governor Ridge and the Pennsylvania legislature for their support of an education tax credit program which makes scholarships available to public and non-public school students to attend the schools of their choice. Under this just and fair plan, businesses will receive tax credits for their donations to scholarship programs set up by nonprofit organizations. The real winners of this legislation are, of course, the thousands of children of low and middle income families who might not have access to the schools that best meet their needs. The education tax credit initiative is a tremendous step toward full school choice, which would ensure tangible educational options for all of Pennsylvania's children."

Reverend Monsignor Philip J. Cribben, Secretary for Catholic Education said, "Thousands of students in the Archdiocesan school system already receive tuition assistance through BLOCS, Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools and the Catholic Life 2000 Endowment. This legislation will make it possible for even more businesses to donate to schools and scholarship programs. I am gratified that so many children and their families will reap the benefits of this legislation."

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Editor's Note: Almost 8,000 of the 105,000 students in Archdiocesan elementary, secondary and special education schools receive some form of tuition assistance. Seven million dollars in tuition assistance to these students comes from the generosity of donors to BLOCS, Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools as well as from private foundations and individuals.







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