This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Should private schools that benefit from Pennsylvania’s tax credit programs adhere to the rules of the public system?
That debate often revolves around school accountability because the state does not require private schools to administer and publish the results of standardized tests.
But the question has also cropped up in recent weeks around an entirely different issue — employee discrimination.
In May, Gov. Wolf’s administration removed nondiscrimination language from guidelines governing private schools that receive money through state tax credits.
The removal came soon after a coalition of private schools and lawmakers complained that the language violated state law, prompting administration officials to acknowledge that the clause was inserted by accident.
The eliminated language would have barred private schools that benefit from the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) from discriminating against their employees on the basis of “gender, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.”