Phoenix points out needs in city’s school districts - Ahwatukee Foothills News: News

Phoenix points out needs in city’s school districts

Individuals can help through tax credit contributions

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Posted: Friday, December 20, 2013 9:45 am

The city of Phoenix has released a website to help Phoenix residents understand which school districts could use school tax credit contributions before the end of the year.

“The dollar-for-dollar school tax credit provides a wealth of opportunities for our children,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “But we are seeing districts receive as little as $2 per student, while others collect more than $100 per student. This imbalance puts tens of thousands of our young students at a severe disadvantage.”

The state allows individual taxpayers to contribute $200 per year to public schools to help pay for extracurricular activities, field trips, sports and special projects. The amount a person donates — up to $200 (or $400 per married couple) — will be the amount they may claim as a state tax credit.

The new portal, http://phoenix.gov/education/SchoolTax/index.html, allows residents to see school districts that get less donations than others and gives direction on how to donate to districts that may not have the capability to accept online contributions.

Stanton and other community leaders unveiled the portal at Sun Canyon Elementary School in the Fowler Elementary School District. In 2012, the district received just $6.26 per student in school tuition tax credit contributions.

“This portal is a valuable asset to help direct new contributors — people whose children are no longer in school, seniors and even childless adults — to the school districts who need the most help,” said Fowler Elementary School District Superintendent Marvene Lobato. “Our children have the same needs, but we have little to no means to provide them with positive and formative extracurricular experiences.”

The Kyrene School District is shown in green on the website. According to the site the district has received $1,922,464 in donations in 2012, which is one of the most in the city behind only Paradise Valley Unified School District and Scottsdale Unified School District. One elementary school district reported only $3,000 in donations. Tempe Union High School District is also listed in green with more than $1 million in donations in 2012. Some high school districts had less than $100,000 donated.

A donation may be split among more than one public school, but each individual will still qualify for a maximum state credit of $200. A state tax credit allows people to reduce the amount of tax liability to the state or increase their refund from the state. For more information, visit the portal at http://phoenix.gov/education/SchoolTax/index.html.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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