Seton Catholic Prep’s Director of Advancement, Jim Pogge, describes himself as a “cradle Catholic.” Catholic education played a defining role in his upbringing, and he went on to make it his career. He recently had the chance to sit down with Chris Lorello, CEA’s Corporate Manager, to discuss his background, his experiences working with Catholic schools, and how the schools have benefitted from Arizona’s charitable tax credits.

Working Smarter, Not Harder

Arizona’s charitable tax credits enable individuals and businesses to direct their tax credits towards causes they are passionate about. Pogge did not always work within a state that offered tuition tax credits for students and schools. He speaks of his time in Nebraska, saying, “If you go to a public school, you go to a public school. If you want to go to a private school, faith based or not, you just paid. There are no charters, no vouchers, no tax credits. You just wrote checks.”

Working in Nebraska, Pogge states, “We had to raise a million dollars a year just to keep the lights on, if you know what I mean.” He goes on to state how such a large push on the part of the faculty and community made it difficult to implement programming improvements and improve the facilities.

Tax credits in Arizona make it much simpler for community members to contribute to students’ education. Pogge explains, “My school, Seton, receives a little over $2.6 million a year in tuition tax credits every single year … It’s nearly 25% of our budget.”

Shifting Focus Onto Catholic Education

When a school does not have to dedicate as much time, money, or resources to give children the opportunities that they deserve, the staff is able to provide a higher-quality and more personalized Catholic education experience to students. Pogge says that his school is currently working to expand its counseling department. Educators are also able to give extra help to students struggling with subjects such as math and reading.

“With these tuition tax credits, it’s a godsend,” he claims. “More and more people need to understand this … From a corporate standpoint, this is huge … We just need to get on a mountaintop and shout this as much as we possibly can to get this out there.”
Pogge believes, as many do, that more people would direct tax credits if only they knew that they had the opportunity to. It is a sentiment that Lorello echoes, adding on, “As we say all the time around CEA. You are investing in our future workforce and in our future leaders.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2019, there were about 5.8 million students attending private schools in the United States. By directing tax credits, the quality of education that these students receive improves. If you would like to know more about Catholic education tax credits, then you are encouraged to reach out to Catholic Education Arizona today!