The Window for Making a 2015 Arizona Tax Credit Contribution Is Closing in 27 Days
If you have not yet made your 2015 Tax Credit donation, please consider making it today (see below for links). The AZ Tax Credit program allows Arizona tax payers to direct part of the taxes they owe (on income earned in 2015) to public schools – $20, $50, $100… up to $200 for individuals and $400 for couples filing jointly. However, to receive the tax credit on your 2015 AZ income tax return you must make your donation before midnight of December 31, 2015.
How Tax Credit Donations are Used
With the revenue from our annual Tax Credit campaigns, we are able to provide powerful, extracurricular programming to every student at our schools – regardless of their family’s ability to pay. We simply do not receive enough revenue from the state to provide this kind of extra programming but with your Tax Credit contributions these fee-based programs can be offered to every student because we are able offer financial aid. Without the extra revenue from the Tax Credit program, we could not offer these experiences to our students.
For example, at both PFFS-Downtown and PFFS-University (in both the Fall and in the Spring) all students are able to participate in two, week-long, intensive learning experiences we call Intersession. These Intersession experiences are an integral part of the Paulo Freire community. Over the years, as part of Intersession, students have had overnight camping experiences in Catalina State Park, Aravaipa Canyon, Saguaro National Park, Chaco Canyon, the Grand Canyon to name a few. We have taken Intersession trips into Mexico. We have had six different Intersessions in Prescott at Prescott Pines Camp. And there are always lots of powerful Intersession experiences offered to students right here in Tucson (see school Intersession links above). All Intersession experiences are designed to be intensive, week-long explorations into a theme or driving question that result in both deep learning and powerful social bonding. Intersession is an integral part of Paulo Freire. No other public middle school in Tucson provides these kinds of experiences to all of their students. And without our community’s Tax Credit support there would be no Intersession.
Other examples of how Tax Credit donations are used: When parents enroll their students at one of the Paulo Freire schools they are asked to contribute an annual $75 fee for activities and supplies. This fee is also based on ability to pay with financial aid available. The activity portion of these fees ($50) is used to support field trips and grade level expeditions away from the school. These experiences have included trips to Mount Lemmon, Saguaro National Park (east & west), Tumamoc Mountain, Agua Caliente Park, Cienega Creek Natural Preserve, Las Milpitas Community Farm, Marana Heritage Farm, UA Poetry Center, Superior and City Courts, Gem and Mineral Show, Pima County Public Library, Bioshere 2, Tucson Art Museum, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Ben’s Bells, KXCI Radio Station, UA Flandrau Science Center, and Silverbell Lake. Because Tax Credit revenue allows us to offer scholarships for the fees that support these out-of-school experiences, we can provide these experiences to every student regardless of ability to pay. Without our community’s Tax Credit support this programming would be significantly curtailed.
Also, both schools provide fee-based, AfterSchool programming to any PFFS student regardless of their family’s ability to pay. This is only possible because of the financial support your Tax Credit contribution provides.
Again, What Exactly Is a Tax Credit Contribution?
A Tax Credit contribution is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of the taxes you owe to the state. If, for example, a family owes $300 in taxes to the Arizona Department of Revenue and they make a $250 tax credit contribution to one of the schools before December 31, 2015 – the family’s tax bill decreases to $50. Or, if a family were to be getting a refund of $500 from the Arizona Department of Revenue but they make a $250 tax credit contribution before December 31, 2015 – they would instead be getting back $550 when they file their 2015 return. All Arizona taxpayers are able to take advantage of this dollar-for-dollar school tax credit option, whether or not they have children in school.
This year Paulo Freire Freedom School – Downtown, Paulo Freire Freedom School – University, and City High School are teaming up to get the word out about each school’s Tax Credit campaigns. Click on the links below to learn about each campaign and make your donation to today!
CITY Center for Collaborative Learning
Finally, a Tax Credit contribution to any of these three, small public schools not only impacts programming at each of the schools – it also impacts public schooling throughout Tucson and beyond. Beginning in July, these three schools will be operated by CITY Center for Collaborative Learning as demonstration sites/lab schools for best teaching and learning practices and small school design. CITY Center offers research-based professional development and community engagement experiences for teachers, educational leaders, community partners, and district teams, including school visits, workshops, and consulting.