OU Joins to Honor PA’s Senator J. Piccola with School Choice Champion Award

01 Feb 2013


Left to Right: Sean McAleer, Co-Director of PA CAPE; Sen. Jeffrey E. Piccola; Michelle Twersky, OU Pennsylvania Associate Director for Political Affairs; Merle Skinner, Co-Director of PA CAPE; Ariel Sadwin, Director at Agudath Israel of Maryland – Mid Atlantic Region.

Today, the Orthodox Union joined in a ceremony honoring former Senator Jeffrey E. Piccola with the Pennsylvania School Choice Champion Award. The ceremony, which took place in Lancaster, PA, was hosted by the Pennsylvania affiliate of the Council on American Private Education (PA CAPE), of which the Orthodox Union is an active member.

Last year, with Senator Piccola’s leadership, school choice supporters expanded the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program by $25 million and created the $50 million Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) program, a program designed specifically for students living in failing school districts. The EITC and OSTC programs provide millions of dollars each year in scholarships for low and middle-income Jewish families by setting aside money in the form of tax credits for corporations that donate to tuition organizations. In his final year in office, the OU worked with Senator Piccola to ensure that succeeding generations of children would no longer be trapped in schools that do not meet their educational needs.

Michelle Twersky, the Orthodox Union’s Associate Pennsylvania Political Director and PA-Cape member stated, “In his many years in the Senate, Senator Piccola worked tirelessly to make quality school choice a reality in Pennsylvania. Due in large part to his dedication to this important cause, Pennsylvania is now a national leader in the effort to give parents more choice in their children’s education. The Orthodox Union thanks Senator Piccola for his leadership and wishes him the best in the next phase of his life.”

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