Various Seneca Programs Benefit from Education Improvement Grant

Matt Di Michele, Staff Writer

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While national and even state-wide financial grant systems have often been ridiculed in the past, the Seneca Valley Foundation is set to utilize and benefit from a very large sum of money via a state grant that it has received just this week.

Five different academically rigorous classes at the Seneca Valley High School are going to receive shares of $8,000 from Waste Management, Inc. The giant North American company, which has spent over $14 million dollars in grants all across the nation, has a Pennsylvania branch that prides itself on “environmental protection, education and supporting the communities where they operate”, according to Seneca Valley’s official website.

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development is the department in charge of the grant, which is called the Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. Selecting organizations from a government approved list, companies have been utilizing the EITC program since its initiation in 2001.

Waste Management is not the first company to donate to Seneca Valley via the EITC.  Nextier joined Waste Management in donating to the SV Foundation in January and Farmers National Bank has donated as recently as April.

The number of classes that will be affected by the most recent Waste Management donation will double that of previous donations, however. While grants from the past usually went into 3 to 4 different classes, this donation will benefit five: Honors Women in Engineering, Honors Engineering, Honors Engineering Application, Honors Engineering and Experimentation, and CHS Accounting 1 (plus CHS Accounting 2) are all part of the program.

It makes sense that these were the classes selected for the grant, given their ties to the business and scientific sides of a company such as Waste Management. Many WM employees have presumably taken “STEM” classes similar to these ones throughout their respective careers in high school and perhaps even college.

It is also important to note that all of the classes involved in the program are Honors or CHS (college in high school). Students and especially teachers involved in these more rigorous and challenging classes will certainly utilize their new-found funds to progress their already important curricula even further.

Pecuniary benefits to Seneca itself notwithstanding, it is great to see companies as big as Waste Management contributing to the well being of small communities. While the grant does entail some tax benefits for companies who take part in it (according to pa.gov), it was still a generous move for the multi-million dollar company to help contribute to Seneca Valley’s education system.

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Various Seneca Programs Benefit from Education Improvement Grant