Alaska’s Education Tax Credit allows corporations to reduce their tax burden by investing in Alaska’s future
A 12-year-old boy who’s been struggling with math high-fives the tutor who helped him ace today’s quiz. A high schooler who is also an aspiring doctor 3D-prints a model of the human heart. And on a crisp April morning, hundreds of athletes from villages across the state flood into Anchorage to display their strength and agility at a competition that reflects traditions that are thousands of years old.
But what do Schoolyard, Transitions, and the Native Youth Olympics (NYO) have in common, besides being CITC programs? They’re all made possible by donations made through the Alaska Education Tax Credit Incentive.
In 2011, the Alaska State Legislature expanded Alaska’s existing Education Tax Credit by increasing the financial benefits corporations could receive when making cash donations to eligible institutions. Since that expansion, companies have been able to claim up to $5 million in tax credits annually for donations made to education programs, including CITC’s Education Innovation programs.
“It’s a win-win situation where corporations can truly invest in the future of this state’s students while reducing their own tax burden,” said Kelly Hurd, CITC’s senior director of development. “The greater the investment a corporation makes, the greater their savings. For example, a $100,000 corporate donation equates to a net cost of only $32,500 after federal and state tax savings are realized. It’s a way for companies to have tremendous impact on education.”
How tremendous an impact? Thanks to the $1.5 million CITC has received from donors so far, every quarter of the school year around 38 students find homework help and culturally based STEM activities through CITC’s Schoolyard program; they log about 1,265 hours each year with their tutors. In five years, more than 1,600 students learned about science and culture through the Transitions program in three Anchorage schools.
Another 174 students have spent roughly 1,700 hours designing and creating projects in the Fab Lab over the last year. And CITC’s high school programs within the Anchorage School District have achieved a 94 percent graduation rate among Alaska Native students, compared to the 53 percent rate among Alaska Native students not participating in CITC ASD programs.
“It’s vitally important for our youth to have positive and healthy educational activities that embrace the Alaska Native culture,” observed Sheri Buretta, chairman of the board for Chugach Alaska Corporation, which has invested significantly in NYO over the last few years.
While corporations can designate their donations toward a specific education program, like NYO or Transitions, investing in CITC’s Education Innovation Fund allows CITC to allocate resources where they are most needed. In this way, CITC can bridge funding gaps and ensure that critical services are consistently provided to students who need them.
“The Education Innovation Fund also enables CITC to employ bold and innovative approaches, such as the CITC Fab Lab and ARISE, to tackle issues at the root cause,” said Hurd. “Vital wrap-around services such as teacher advocates, social workers, and NYO are almost entirely funded through the Education Innovation Fund and help ensure that essential support systems are in place to help our young people succeed.”
You can invest in CITC’s future — and in the future of Alaska’s youth — today! Support programs like Schoolyard, or contribute to CITC’s Education Innovation Fund, by contacting Kelly Hurd at (907) 793-3272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.