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Our policy research is intended to educate the public on the K-12 educational landscape and opportunities for improvement. Specifically, it addresses issues relating to the expanding educational opportunity, the shortage of seats in quality high-performing schools, and the private school closure crisis, among others.

Research papers and briefings published to date include:

New Picture

Analysis of State-Level Education Savings Account (ESA) Law Provisions (PDF) January 2018

  • This analysis summarizes the key aspects of state education savings accounts laws, including the total amount of the programs, funds expended, number of participants, annual public ESA funding, enrollment caps, eligible expenses, income limits for recipients, and requirements for eligibility, prior public school enrollment, and students assessment.


Analysis of State-Level Scholarship Tax Credit Law Provisions (PDF) July 2017

  • This summary identifies and compares the key aspects of state scholarship tax credit laws, including the year each law was adopted, whether the tax credits are available to individuals and/or businesses, share of individual donations eligible for tax credits, maximum tax credits available to donors, total annual program amounts, household income limits for scholarship recipients, limits on the value of individual scholarship awards, the number of scholarship recipients benefitting from the programs, and total funds expended.

The Catholic School Closure Crisis and Declining Educational Opportunity in New York

The Catholic School Closure Crisis and Declining Educational Opportunity in New York (PDF) October 2016

  • New York has experienced a dramatic 75 percent decline in Catholic school enrollment since 1970, creating a Catholic school closure crisis that continues today.
  • While there are multiple causes for the decline in Catholic school enrollment, a major factor has been families increasingly unable to afford tuition.
  • New York’s Catholic schools have a long history of providing quality educational opportunities to students from immigrant, low-income and minority families. The Catholic school closure crisis threatens the future of this tradition.
  • The purpose of this report is to familiarize the reader with the long history of Catholic schools in New York, the ongoing Catholic school closure crisis, and the resulting decline of educational opportunities they provide for students.


Non-Religious K-12 Scholarship Programs in New York State (PDF) September 2016

  • Economic pressures faced by many New York families have resulted in a dramatic decline in the share of families able to afford private school tuition for grades K-12, forcing hundreds of private schools to close since the 1970s, a trend that continues today.
  • In addition to long-standing tuition assistance programs in place for religious schools, New York is home to several non-religious K-12 scholarship programs (and private school placement and academic support programs) serving diverse student populations.
  • While these programs are expanding educational opportunity, demand is far greater than the supply of scholarships available, demonstrating a need for additional K-12 scholarship programs.
  • The purpose of this analysis is to familiarize the reader with the K-12 non-religious scholarship programs in New York State.


K-12 Education Scholarships for Families of New York City Firefighters and Police (PDF) August 2016

    • The report examines how K-12 scholarship programs for families of New York City firefighters and police are expanding educational opportunity by making private school tuition more affordable.
    • The 18 scholarship programs profiled demonstrate the diversity of these programs, including differing types of organizations awarding scholarships, eligible beneficiaries, value and number of the scholarships awarded annually, eligible schools and grade levels, and selection considerations.
    • The purpose of this analysis is to familiarize the reader with the K-12 scholarship programs for families of New York City firefighters and police.


Legislative Brief: New York Education Tax Credit Legislation (PDF) May 2016

  • Legislation proposed in New York State for an Education Tax Credit would increase charitable donations from individuals and businesses for education by up to $300 million annually by providing a tax credit. The bills proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, and separately in the Assembly and Senate would help public schools, community organizations, teachers, and fund scholarships for children.

Comparison of Key Provisions of the Proposed New York State Education Tax Credit Bills(PDF) March 2016

  • The report provides a side-by-side comparison of the key provisions of the education tax credit plans proposed in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Parental Choice in Education Act (Program Bill No. 2), Assembly Bill No. 2551, and Senate Bill No. 1976.
  • Key provisions include eligible donors, maximum annual amount of individual taxpayer credits, total program amount, pre-approval of tax credits, scholarship amount, eligible public education entities and scholarship organizations, student scholarship eligibility, and participating schools eligibility, among others.

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Report: Education Tax Credit Programs: An Analysis of Provisions By State (PDF) October 2013

  • There are more than a dozen states that provide education tax credits. All of these states award tax credits to encourage donations to scholarship organizations. Two of these states also allow tax credits for donations to non-profit organizations that work with public schools.
  • While there are many similarities in how states implement these laws, there are significant differences in the amount of the credit permitted for both individual and business donors, the total program aggregate amount allowed annually, the financial value permitted for scholarship, requirements for how scholarship organization must operate, what school programs are eligible to participate, and which students may receive a scholarship.
  • The report breaks down the various provisions of state education tax credit programs and how each state implements them.

Constitutionality of the Proposed NYS Education Tax Credit (PDF) May 2016 Update

  • A memorandum addresses the question of whether the proposed New York Education Tax Credit passes muster under both the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article XI, Section 3 of the New York Constitution (the so-called “Blaine Amendment”).
  • The memorandum is authored by former law clerks to the U.S. Supreme Court (Justices Thurgood Marshall and Anthony Kennedy) and one of the leading attorneys on the First Amendment and religious liberty.

Our research is ongoing, some research papers and briefings currently in progress or planned include:

    • Statistical Analysis of Private-School Trends in New York City
    • Statistical Analysis of Private-School Trends in New York State
    • History of Catholic School Closures in the Archdiocese