HARRISBURG – Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has raised concerns about the lack of accountability and transparency in how Educational Improvement Tax Credits (EITC) are used throughout the state.
“I was alarmed by concerns recently raised about an assistant principal at the Yeshiva School in Pittsburgh less than two years after an elementary teacher at the school was fired over allegations of sexual abuse of a child,” DePasquale said. “These incidents raise questions about how this school protects children and handles such serious allegations.
“Because it is a private school, my department is precluded from conducting an audit, but this raises a broader issue because the school receives state funding from the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program,” he said. “It is time for a serious review of the lack of any accountability for schools that receive these funds.
“I will discuss with DCED Secretary Davin how best to provide additional accountability measures for schools receiving state tax dollars without being subject to the same level of scrutiny as public schools that my office audits,” he said, acknowledging that DCED has no control over which schools receive the EITC funding.
“Additionally, as my office continues working to improve safety at every school — public, charter, private and parochial — I want to be clear that although much attention is focused on preventing harm from intruders, we must also be vigilant to protect students from pedophiles who may have slipped through the system.”
The Department of Community and Economic Development oversees the EITC program that allows businesses to receive state tax credits in exchange for donations to registered scholarship organizations, educational improvement organizations and/or pre-K scholarship organizations.
DePasquale posts all audit reports, along with his travel expenses and the agency’s monthly expenses, online at: www.PaAuditor.gov.