First Responders Send a Message to Trump

Dozens of Law Enforcement and Fire Unions Ask President to Support Education Scholarship Tax Credit

NEW YORK, NY – With the tax reform debate heating up in Congress, members of some of the nation’s largest first responder unions are joining forces to support a provision that will provide school choice for  millions of low and middle income children across America, including the children of first responders.

The nearly four dozen labor unions, representing more than 300,000 law enforcement and fire personnel, have sent a letter to President Trump urging him to demand the inclusion of a national Education Scholarship Tax Credit in tax legislation being debated in Congress. The effort is being organized by the #EdTaxCredit50 Coalition, comprised of more than 200 organizations across the nation to support a national, K-12 scholarship tax credit.

The President has discussed his support for expanding school choice but has yet to offer a concrete plan to make good on that promise. The tax credit is not a new government program, but rather a small change to the tax code that would increase private charitable donations to nonprofit organizations that provide scholarships to help defray the cost of private and parochial education for qualified families.

“In a year that has seen our first responders handle an historic number of damaging hurricanes, battle deadly wildfires and the largest mass shooting in our nation’s history, we hope the White House will acknowledge that this reform will help the children of our heroes,” said Tom Carroll, who is leading the #EdTaxCredit50 Coalition.

John McNesby, President of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police stated, “The National Education Tax Credit initiative will be a huge advantage for our members of law enforcement as well as the public at large. This initiative will help working families from all walks of life and enhance education opportunities for their children.”

The Coalition hopes to meet with the President to discuss how the Education Scholarship Tax Credit would benefit first responders. Coalition members stress they aren’t asking for a hand-out. They’re asking the President to publicly support a measure that will inject more private dollars and provide more choice for first responder parents.

“The National Education Tax Credit initiative would greatly benefit our members and substantially bolster support for our charity which provides scholarships for Troopers’ children and the children of our fallen members,” states Tom Mungeer, President of the New York State Troopers PBA. Rich Wells, President of the Police Conference of New York added, “It would be a true benefit to New York’s hard-working police officers.”

An Education Scholarship Tax Credit would provide a dollar-for-dollar tax benefit to any private donor who contributes to non-profit K-12 scholarship funds or vocational training programs.  Eighteen states currently have some form of Education Scholarship Tax Credit which benefit lower and middle income families who want to send their child to the school of their choice.

“Across New York every day our hard-working Fire Fighters leave their homes and families, to go to work and protect New Yorkers,” said Sam Fresina, President of the New York State Fire Fighters Association. “We represent Fire Fighters in more than 100 municipalities from across New York, and strongly encourage this program to be included in the current tax reform legislation.”

“We know the President supports our law enforcement and first responder community,” continued Carroll. “Supporting a scholarship tax credit will help countless children of cops and firefighters who might not be able to afford to send their kids to the school of their choice. A 50-state solution also will benefit millions of kids and their families without increasing government spending or involvement in education.”

The #EdTaxCredit50 Coalition also recently launched a national grassroots campaign called My Kid’s Future, which will focus on direct outreach to Congress, the Trump Administration and the media by parents and supporters of the proposal. Find them on Facebook here.

Signatories to the letter sent to the White House and select Members of Congress include:

  • NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association
  • NYPD Detectives Benevolent Association
  • NYPD Captains Endowment Association
  • Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5
  • FDNY Uniformed Fire Officers Association, IAFF Local 854
  • Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation
  • New York State Court Officers Association
  • New York State Fraternal Order of Police
  • New York State Professional Firefighters Association
  • New York State Supreme Court Officers Association
  • New York State Troopers PBA
  • Police Conference of New York (229 Local PBAs)
  • Silver Shield Foundation

#EdTaxCredit50 is an advocacy campaign for the adoption of a National Education Tax Credit to encourage charitable donations to non-profit K-12 scholarship funds in all 50 states. The Coalition of more than 200 organizations across the nation represents the interests of millions of potential beneficiaries of a National Education Tax Credit policy to the Trump Administration, Congress and the media. Learn more at The Coalition’s grassroots and Facebook campaigns can be found here.