4 Illinois schools closing without Invest in Kids scholarships, others at risk

4 Illinois schools closing without Invest in Kids scholarships, others at risk

With Invest in Kids scholarships expiring, four schools across Illinois already decided to close their doors for good. Futures for nearly 10,000 low-income students remain uncertain.

This week is “National School Choice Week,” but Illinoisans have little to celebrate – especially at four schools forced to close because state lawmakers refused to extend the only school choice program for nearly 10,000 low-income students.

Without support from the Invest in Kids tax credit scholarship program, four schools in Illinois will permanently close at the end of this school year.

Illinois schools closing

When the school year ends, parents such as Christine Clark of Cicero will have to send their kids to a different school. She didn’t see it coming.

“I read the email at work at 3:30,” Clark said. “I was in tears. My daughter was ballistic. She was crying her heart out.”

Other schools are trying last-ditch efforts to stay open. St. Bede in Ingleside started a GoFundMe to help raise money. They already surpassed their goal of $400,000 raised by Jan. 26, but they will need the same generosity next year to stay open.

Jackson Potter, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, was a staunch critic of Invest in Kids and advocated for lawmakers to let the program sunset.

“We’re very clear that we support public accommodations for the many, not private schools for the few,” Potter said to the Chicago Tribune.

Except CTU President Stacy Davis Gates is a school choice practitioner by sending her son to a private school only the few can afford. Without Invest in Kids, families have no choice in schools unless they have the money.

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