Teachers recognized: 3 cheers for the best
Dec. 15, 2003
Congratulations to the Rodel Extraordinary Teachers announced
These teachers represent the best of the profession.
They work tirelessly and with great skill to ensure that our children,
regardless of social or economic background, achieve at the same high standards
as mainstream America.
Their passion for success and relentless pursuit of excellence make these
teachers true inspirations.
While studying the success of these teachers, we find, without exception, that
they work with students beyond the regular school day.
In high-poverty areas, many students have a home language other than English,
move frequently and have many unmet needs.
In these areas, extending the school day for homework assistance, tutoring and
other activities is a practical necessity to improve student achievement
Care to help teachers in these high-poverty schools extend programs?
Our state allows individuals to contribute funds to a local school and qualify
for a full tax refund.
Arizona Extracurricular Tax Credit allows donations to qualified extracurricular
programs, giving taxpayers a 100 percent credit up to $200 ($250 if filing
Controversy about the tax-credit law remains, but no one can argue that schools
in wealthier areas are getting the lion's share of benefits.
Those with enough wealth to write the check, and wait to be refunded after tax
season, contribute mostly to schools in their own neighborhoods: places where
wealth is concentrated.
This tax season, consider making a donation to schools in high-poverty areas.
Your dollars can support individualized tutoring, homework clubs or fine-arts
enrichment for kids who may not otherwise receive such services. These are
schools most in need but least likely to receive individual donations to provide
Regardless to which school you choose to donate, you can help ensure that more
students have access to these funds.
Donate to your local school's tax-credit fund, or e-mail us at Rodel Charitable
Foundation of Arizona, and we can direct you to effective high-poverty schools
that will make excellent use of your tax-credit dollars. It's a way the everyday
taxpayer can give a little to help a lot!
Remember Dec. 31 is the deadline for the 2003 tax credit.
I tip my hat to our Rodel Extraordinary Teachers and to those of you helping
public schools continue to build effective programs for our kids.
Carol Peck is president and chief executive officer of Rodel
Charitable Foundation of Arizona. She is former superintendent of the Alhambra
Elementary School District. E-mail questions and ideas for future coverage of
outstanding programs to her at