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PA CAPE supports and advocates quality nonpublic education for its affiliated schools.

School Choice Champion Awards to Mark Pennsylvania School Choice Week

“Clarification: Senator Toomey is unable to join us tomorrow in Lancaster, as he has obvious obligations in Washington D.C. Accepting the award on Senator Toomey’s behalf will be Larissa Bailey who serves as the senator’s Regional Manager for Central Pennsylvania.”
LANCASTER (Jan. 15, 2020) – Hundreds of private school administrators and community leaders will attend the Pennsylvania Affiliate of the Council on Private Education’s (PACAPE) presentation of the 2019 School Choice Champion Award at 9 a.m. on Jan. 24.

The award event will take place at the Association of Christian Schools International’s Administrators Conference at the Doubletree Resort by Hilton Lancaster Willow Valley. The ceremony will honor Sen. Pat Toomer for his leadership at the national level in the area of school choice and advancing private education. The event will feature remarks by leaders of PACAPE.

This event is planned to coincide with the history-making celebration of National School Choice Week 2020, which will feature more than 50,000 school choice events across all 50 states.

“We are excited to present this year’s award to Sen. Toomey and celebrate a school choice hero,” said Dr. D. Merle Skinner, executive director of PACAPE. “This award recognizes how the senator, along with many other leaders in the Commonwealth, have promoted programs that support families who are best served by a diversity of quality education options, each of which brings unique gifts to the table.”

The Doubletree Resort by Hilton Lancaster Willow Valley is located at 2400 Willow Street Pike.

PACAPE promotes the vital role of private schools in Pennsylvania education and their significant contributions to educating the public and promoting the common good.

For more information, contact Dr. D. Merle Skinner at or (724) 557-2675, or visit

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As a nonpartisan, nonpolitical public awareness effort, National School Choice Week shines a positive spotlight on effective education options for students, families, and communities around the country. From January 26 through February 1, 2020, more than 50,000 independently-planned events will be held in celebration of the Week. For more information, visit

EITC/OSTC & Safe Schools Equipment

EITC/OSTC Increases

The EITC received a $25 million increase and the OSTC received a $5 million increase.

2019 Teacher & Administrator Award Winners

The Pennsylvania affiliate of the Council on American Private Education (PACAPE) is proud to announce the winners of the 2019 PACAPE Private School Teacher, Administrator and School Awards. As the representative of approximately 85 percent of the students in private schools in Pennsylvania, PA-CAPE established the awards ceremony to elevate the status of private education in the eyes of the communities they serve as well as the Pennsylvania legislature. There were many excellent candidates nominated for these awards, all of whom provide an outstanding example of how Pennsylvania Private Schools are changing the lives of students both in and out of the classroom. We would like to recognize and congratulate the following individuals for winning this year’s Teacher/Administrator Awards.

Matthew Sullivan - Early Education Teacher (Gladwyne Montessori School)
Cheryl Kestner - Elementary Teacher (Mary Queen of Apostles School)
Donald Militzer - Early Childhood & Elementary Administrator (St Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin School)
Debbie Azevedo - Secondary Education Teacher (Cedar Grove Christian Academy)
Kristen Lloyd - Music Education Teacher (Johnstown Christian School)
Mary Claire Kasunic - Secondary Education Administrator (Oakland Catholic High School)

These teachers and administrators have a personal testimony that reinforces the overall significance of private school educators and leaders; we congratulate and thank them for the impact they make in their classrooms, schools, and in the lives of each of their students.

Award Recipients and PA CAPE Leaders at the awards ceremony in Harrisburg.

House Bill 800 (EITC Program) Support Letter

Click here to view a copy of the EITC Program Support Letter addressed to Speaker Turzai, Chairman Sonney, and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Threat Extinguisher Security System for Schools

Threat Extinguisher has been working with schools to help provide additional security through practical systems. See the attached flyer for additional information.

Speaker of the House Mike Turzai - 2018 School Choice Champion!

LANCASTER (Jan. 19, 2018) – The Honorable, Mike Turzai, PA Speaker of the House and Candidate for Governor will be awarded the PACAPE School Choice Champion award at a ceremony beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 26 at the Willow Valley Resort in Lancaster.

Speaking at the event will be leaders from the Pennsylvania affiliate of the Council on American Private Education, in addition to the awardee. About 350 private school administrators are expected to attend.

Senator Mike Folmer - 2017 School Choice Champion!

LANCASTER (January 20, 2017) – Private School leaders in Pennsylvania honor Pennsylvania Senator Mike Folmer for his support of school choice on Friday, January 27.

The Pennsylvania Council for Private Education (PA CAPE) will present the School Choice Champion Award to Senator Mike Folmer on behalf of Pennsylvania Private Schools. The event will be held at the Willow Valley Double Tree Resort in Lancaster on January 27 at 9:00 am during the Association of Christian Schools International Northeast Regional Administrator Board Conference.

EITC May School Choice Birthday Rally

EITC Birthday Party - Capitol Building, May 10th at noon.

Education Secretary DeVos Meets with CAPE Leaders

On March 20, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos met with the CAPE board of directors and representatives of the state affiliates for the first time; she reaffirmed her commitment to expanding educational opportunities for children and parents. “We have to stay focused on what’s right for kids,” said Mrs. DeVos, sounding a recurring theme in her young administration. “If we can keep asking ourselves the question about what is right for individual children, I think we’re going to come to a good and reasonable answer.” Mrs. DeVos said one of her priorities was to advance parental choice in education in a significant way that would “help parents and children who are trapped all too often in places that don’t work for them.” But she also said her immediate goals are to successfully steer the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act and to get her team of senior officials on board. Beyond that, she wants to advance the public policy conversation about higher education and lifelong learning.

To read more about this meeting with DeVos and to take a look at the meeting CAPE had with House Education Chairwoman Virgina Foxx, take a look at the April edition of CAPE Outlook.

Meeting with Rep. Mike Turzai & other State Representatives

On March 22, 2017, a coalition of private school administrators and the PA Family Institute met with state representatives to thank them for their continued support of EITC/OSTC programs. Meetings were held with sponsors of the legislation, the House Majority leader, the Speaker of the House and others. ACSI PA leaders were able to share first-hand accounts of how this program has made a differnece in the lives of students and families across the Commonwealth. Additionally, pleas were made on behalf of pending proposals for ESAs (Educational Savings Accounts), a program which, if passed, will enable many families to have more of a choice in the education of their children. Finally, we were able to continue the dialogue of reminding our legislators that any new legislation dealing with education in the Commonwealth needs to continue to allow schools with specific mission-statements to continue to both hire employees who support the mission and operate the school according to the mission. These meetings are crucial as nothing has more of an impact on legislators than hearing from their constituents in person. It requires time away from the office, but it is a worthy and necessary investment for the good of school choice and religious liberty.


Sponsoring Organizations

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