ACSTO was incorporated in 1998 for the sole purpose of implementing the Original private school tuition tax credit law that was enacted in 1997 as A.R.S. Section 43-1089; and now ACSTO also works with the Overflow/PLUS tuition tax credit law that was enacted in 2012 as A.R.S. Section 43-1089.03.
ACSTO exists to equip students with the opportunity to attend a private Christian school. As a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charitable organization, and a school tuition organization (STO) certified by the state, we have the privilege of transforming tax credit contributions into valuable tuition scholarships to help families afford a private education for their children.
Whether you are a parent looking for ways to afford Christian education for your child, or an Arizona taxpayer looking for new ways to support Christian education, this program is for you!
History of Success
Since it began in 1998, ACSTO has awarded over $100 million in scholarships to 20,600 students attending 150 Arizona Christian schools. Over 54,000 visionary Arizona taxpayers have made this possible by donating to ACSTO, and they were able to take advantage of Arizona's unique opportunity to receive a dollar-for-dollar credit against their Arizona state income tax.
ACSTO awards more money than is required by tax credit law (over 90%) and has awarded a majority of its scholarship dollars to students who would meet the low-income means test, even though the law does not specify any particular demographic for who should receive them.
ACSTO was founded by David J. Harowitz, Richard Bellah, and Steven B. Yarbrough (pictured). Each is an attorney in Maricopa County with a significant history of leadership in their local church and various Christian organizations. David emphasizes in estate planning and charitable organizations law in Tempe. Richard has served as an advisor to the organization since 1998, and currently has a general practice in Glendale. Steve serves as executive director. He served four terms as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives and is now on his second term as a member of the Arizona State Senate.
The goal of ACSTO's leadership and staff is to further Christian education by effectively implementing the provisions of the tax credit laws for the benefit of Christian schools, the students who attend them, and the children's families.