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Orthodox Groups Hail Tax Plan For Schools

Orthodox Groups Hail Tax Plan For Schools

Gov. George Pataki proposed Tuesday a $500 per student tax credit to be used for instructional purposes by families who live in school districts identified as "failing" by the federal government, a proposal hailed by both the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations and Agudath Israel of America.

"This is an historic first step for New York State," said an Agudah statement.

Nathan Diament, director of the Orthodox Union’s Institute for Public Affairs, said his organization would work to try to expand the tax credit to families throughout the state instead of just those living in failing districts, such as all of New York City. Noting that it applies to families with an income of less than $75,000 and phases out as the family income reaches $90,000, Diament said his organization would like to see those limits increased.

Diament stressed that the tax credit could be used for tutoring a child in public or private school, as well as for parents in the city whose children never attended public school.

"It’s not restricted to those who switched to a private school," he said.

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