by David Safier
Only four giving days until the end of the public school tax credits for the year. Please, if you pay state taxes, take advantage of the 100% back offer. Give $200 for an individual, $400 for a couple, to any public school or combination of schools — charters count — and you can subtract it from what you owe in 2013 state taxes. Won't cost you a penny.
If I may make a suggestion, give to a school that gets less money than others, which means a school with students from poor families who don't make enough to pay significant state taxes. TUSD lists the 26 schools in the district that receive the least per student, in order. Joan and I split our money between Hollinger Elementary, Grijalva Elementary and Catalina Magnet High (not to be confused with Catalina Foothills High). The first two are on the low money list. Hollinger has 96% of its students on free/reduced lunch, Grijalva 89% and Catalina High 76%. If you want to spend an enjoyable 6 minutes and fall in love with a bunch of kids, watch the youtube video about Hollinger's GATE Bilingual program. Grijalva Elementary looks like it has a good overall program with a bilingual strand at each grade level. And Catalina High is a virtual United Nations, with, if I remember correctly, over 40 languages spoken. All can use an extra infusion of cash for their very deserving kids.
If you want to read more, I wrote a column on the tax credits in the Explorer. But in a little more time than it would take you to read the column, you can go to the district website of your choice, click on the link (here's the one for TUSD), choose your school and enter your credit card information. Done! Instant boost for kids. BEFORE DECEMBER 31!!!
He-Knows-More-Than-I-Do UPDATE: Rex Scott, principal of Catalina Magnet High, gives more information about his school, a very worthy candidate for a school tax credit, in a comment.
Dave, many thanks to you and Joan for your generous contribution to the students at Catalina Magnet High School. We do indeed have over 40 languages and dialects represented on our campus, along with almost as many nations. Our school also has the highest mobility rate among any of the TUSD high schools, which speaks to the fact that many of our students are continually in search of affordable housing options. Over 10% of all the Youth On Their Own students in Pima County attend Catalina and many of those kids are part of our refugee and immigrant community. Folks who want to help the school and its families can also make donations to our on-campus food and clothing bank. We are blessed to have a terrific relationship with the local neighborhood association and several businesses in our area who support those endeavors, but contributions from other sources are always welcome.
Happy New Year to you and all your readers!
Catalina Magnet High School
3645 East Pima St.
Tucson, AZ 85716