Feb 12, 2016
To See Private Schools Succeed
Here at ACSTO, Christian private schools are our passion. It is hard to think of what could be better than seeing children raised up in an educational environment tailored to their needs and founded on Christian principles. That is why our mission, day in and day out, is to help these schools succeed.
This mission guides everything we do. From the values we have, to the projects we undertake, to the legislation we support, everything is geared toward increasing private Christian school enrollment and allowing more and more parents with the option/opportunity to choose a Christian education for their children.
The way ACSTO accomplishes this mission is through the effective implementation of the private school tuition tax credit laws, where we are allowed to accept tax credit donations and use that money as scholarship awards for private schools (and the donors are allowed to claim a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for their donation). But this process isn't easy - there is a lot to know about how tax credits work, operational requirements of all STOs, and procedural differences between each STO. That is why ACSTO values accuracy in all its dealings; whether it is the processing of a donation, or giving out information regarding the tax credit law, ACSTO is an organization you can trust.
What we value as an organization is meant to not only provide great service for our constituents but also to protect the tax credit program from those who would want to destroy it. That is why ACSTO is a source of stability. We have tirelessly defended the tax credit program from the very beginning. Initially, the constitutionality of the individual scholarship credit was upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court in 1999. However, when litigation from opponents continued, ACSTO took the lead, and, working alongside the Institute for Justice and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), we held our ground to defend the tax credit program for over 12 years; finally prevailing when the United States Supreme Court ruled in our favor in ACSTO v. Winn. In addition, we've supported key legislation that has expanded and refined the tax credits available in Arizona over the last 14 years.
Another way to accomplish our mission is to best utilize our resources in order to bring about the best return possible for our schools. Through outreach to the Christian community with the help of our Coordinators, churches, companies, families, and Christian schools, ACSTO is committed to providing all parties with the information they need to be able to participate in this program so that Christian education can become a reality for as many Arizona students as possible. ACSTO also works with donors to take advantage of their company’s matching gift programs, which helps increase the impact we can have.
Appropriate contact through phone calls, mailings, and emails help to drive donations to our organization, and therefore our schools, as well as ensure that there are students available to receive that money as tuition scholarships. We work hard to raise support, not for ourselves, but to see our Partner Schools succeed. That is why we award out 92% of all donations that identify a student or school, even though the law only requires 90%.
The accuracy, stability, and outreach we value and provide are the reasons for our success, and create a bulwark of protection for the tax credits that deliver much needed scholarships for families wanting a Christian alternative for their children's education and the private schools that provide that valuable service.