Key deadline to support schools

By Michael Freker

Diocesan Director of Planned Giving

An important deadline is approaching for businesses that support Catholic schools through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program. Those companies that have been approved the prior year for credits must renew by Mon. May 17, 2021.

The tax credits have traditionally been “sold out” within the first day or two. New businesses that are applying this year for the first time will want to do so by July 1 at   

The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program is celebrating 20 years as a great success story for school choice throughout the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania was the first state in the nation to pass an education tax credit program aimed at corporations.

In the first year the EITC budget was $30 million, with $20 million designated to scholarship organizations for K-12 tuition assistance.

In 2007 the state increased funding for K-12 scholarship organizations to $44.7 million. Although there have been budget challenges, state support has been steady. In 2012 the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) program was created to serve the families that reside in low achieving public school districts.

In 2014 the legislature expanded the opportunity for unincorporated businesses and qualified Individual donors to participate through Special Purpose Entities. This has provided more opportunities to qualified donors to redirect up to 90 percent of their PA tax liability to an approved scholarship organization.

Special Purpose Entities that have been created to support the Diocese of Pittsburgh Scholarship Program have received approvals recently for this 2021 tax year. Qualified individuals should contact our stewardship office for more information at 412-456-3085 or via our website at

Why do we support Catholic education and scholarship? We should always look at the “end product.” Children who graduate from our Catholic schools have been molded to be productive and moral citizens. We are shaping our future leaders and workforce who have been taught to give back to their churches, communities, and country.