About REACH

THE REACH FOUNDATION (ROAD TO EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT THROUGH CHOICE) AND ITS SISTER ORGANIZATION, THE REACH ALLIANCE, ARE PENNSYLVANIA’S GRASSROOTS COALITIONS DEDICATED TO ENSURING PARENTAL CHOICE IN EDUCATION.

 
 
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In 1991, REACH was founded to coordinate the efforts to pass school choice legislation in Pennsylvania. Since then, REACH has grown into a broad, diverse coalition that includes members of the business community, ethnic and religious organizations, parents and taxpayer groups. As a nonprofit, REACH is governed by an independent board of directors and funded through generous contributions of Pennsylvania citizens and foundations. We receive no government grants but instead rely on the generosity of individuals and foundations for support. The REACH Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization (Federal ID# 25-1744411) under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code, and contributions are tax deductible.

As the school choice movement has changed, so has REACH. REACH advocates and educates the public on the benefits of tuition tax credits, charter schools (including cyber charter schools) and home schooling.

The REACH Alliance was instrumental in the drafting, passage and recent expansions of Pennsylvania’s landmark Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) Program. Since passage of these programs, the REACH Foundation has worked with the state Department of Community and Economic Development to create user-friendly guidelines for the programs and has assisted scholarship organizations with guidance and technical assistance.

REACH continues to educate Pennsylvania citizens and the General Assembly to ensure that parents have a true choice in their children’s education.

 
 
 

Board of Directors

 

Executive Committee

William Donahue, Chairman

The Donahue Family Foundation


Chris Bravacos, President

Bravo Group


Dennis Giorno, Secretary & Treasurer

Malady & Wooten Public Affairs


Rev. Ted Clater

Keystone Christian Education Association


Michael Geer

Pennsylvania Family Institute

 

Board Members

NATHAN BENEFIELD

Commonwealth Foundation


MATTHEW BROUILLETTE

Commonwealth Partners


GREG DOLAN

Catholic Education Partners


DENNIS GILFOYLE

Junior Achievement of Western PA


CHRIS HENKELS

Henkels & McCoy


BILL O’BRIEN

BLOCS


MERLE SKINNER

Association of Christian Schools International


JOHN TROMBETTA

Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association


JOHN WILSON

Children’s Tuition Fund

 
 
 

“School choice … is about empowering families to make the best choice for their children.”

OTTO V. BANKS | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 
 
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Executive Director

 

Otto V. Banks

Executive Director

Prior to joining REACH, Otto was appointed by the White House to serve as deputy assistant secretary  for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C. Prior to being appointed deputy assistant secretary, Otto was senior policy adviser to the assistant secretary for community planning and development.

 

Otto is a former Harrisburg city councilman. During his four-year term, he played an important role in the economic renaissance of the city and oversaw complex municipal programs and projects. Otto also served as a commissioner on a tri-county regional planning commission and represented Pennsylvania on a National Economic Development Policy Committee. He also previously served as an executive with an alternative education provider for at-risk youth. Otto is a graduate of Penn State University.

 
 
 

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board is made up of scholarship organizations, pre-K scholarship organizations and educational improvement organizations. Their involvement is instrumental to the success of the program.  The more EITC-participating organizations that are involved, the better the program … we would love to have you join us!

Membership

In exchange for agreeing to contribute 1 percent of your organization’s tax-creditable receipts under the OSTC, EITC and Pre-K EITC programs, you will become a member of the Advisory Board. (Approved organizations with receipts under $100,000 can contribute $250 or 1 percent, whichever is less.) Your contribution is what allows REACH to keep its doors open and continue to fight on behalf of the children of Pennsylvania by expanding the programs each year and achieving increases in funding. With your contribution, you are directly helping improve the programs and change legislation!

Membership benefits include:

  • Input in the development of EITC policy and supporting our annual efforts to increase funding

  • Advice on issues confronting scholarship and educational improvement organizations

  • Free admission to trainings and developmental seminars hosted by REACH annually

  • Complimentary promotional material helpful in attaining donors for your organization

If you would like to become a member of the Advisory Board, contact us at mail@paschoolchoice.org.

 
 
 
 

Legislative Achievements

SINCE REACH CREATED THE EITC PROGRAM IN 2001 IN COOPERATION WITH THE PA HOUSE AND SENATE, WE HAVE CONTINUED OUR WORK BY EXPANDING THE PROGRAM IN FUNDING AND CREATING THE OSTC PROGRAM IN 2012. WE WORK CLOSELY WITH LEGISLATORS EACH YEAR TO ENSURE THE CONTINUED EXPANSION OF THE PROGRAM AND MAKE CERTAIN THAT IT CONTINUES TO RUN APPROPRIATELY.

 
 
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2001

  • The EITC Program was created for students K-12 and included the creation of educational improvement organization (EIO) programs, with a total funding of $30 million
  • K-12 SO funding: $20 million
  • EIO funding: $10 million
 

2003

  • The EITC Program was expanded by $10 million, for a new total of $40 million
  • K-12 SO funding: $26.7 million
  • EIO funding: $13.3 million
 

2004

  • The EITC created its pre-K program, bringing the total funding for EITC to $45 million
  • K-12 SO funding: $26.7 million
  • Pre-K funding: $5 million
  • EIO funding: $13.3 million
 

2005

  • The EITC Program was expanded by $4 million, for a new total of $49 million
  • K-12 SO funding: $29.3 million
  • Pre-K funding: $ 5 million
  • EIO funding: $14.6 million
 

2006

  • The EITC Program was expanded by $10 million, for a new total of $59 million
  • K-12 SO funding: $36 million
  • Pre-K funding: $5 million
  • EIO funding: $18 million
 

2007

  • The EITC Program was expanded by $16 million, for a new total of $75 million
  • K-12 SO funding: $44.7 million
  • Pre-K funding: $8 million
  • EIO funding: $22.3 million *
 

2008

  • EITC legislation was amended to allow S-corporations to claim EITC credits against their Pennsylvania personal income tax paid through the pass-through entity

2009

  • First cut to the program, decreasing its funding from $75 million to $60 million
  • K-12 SO funding: $38 million
  • Pre-K funding: $ 6.4 million
  • EIO funding: $15.6 million
 

2011

  • The EITC Program was expanded by $15 million, for a new total of $75 million
  • K-12 SO funding: $44.7 million
  • Pre-K funding: $8 million
  • EIO funding: $22.3 million
 

2012

  • The EITC Program was expanded by $25 million, for a new total of $100 million
  • The OSTC Program was created, capped at $50 million
  • K-12 SO funding: $60 million
  • Pre-K funding: $10 million
  • EIO funding: $30 million
  • OSTC funding: $50 million
 

2014

  • The EITC legislation was expanded to include special purpose entities.
 

2016

  • The EITC Program was expanded by $25 million, for a new total of $125 million
  • The OSTC Program remained at $50 million
  • K-12 SO funding: $75 million
  • Pre-K funding: $12.5 million
  • EIO funding: $37.5 million
  • OSTC funding: $50 million
 

2017

  • The EITC Program was expanded by $10 million, for a new total of $135 million
  • The OSTC program remained at $50 million
  • K-12 SO funding: $85 million
  • Pre-K funding: $12.5 million
  • EIO funding: $37.5 million
  • OSTC funding: $50 million
 

2018

  • The EITC Program was expanded by $25 million, for a new total of $160 million.
  • The OSTC Program remained at $50 million.
  • K-12 SO funding: $110 million
  • Pre-K funding: $12.5 million
  • EIO funding: $37.5 million
  • OSTC funding: $50 million