November 9, 2023

Over 9,600 low-income students across Illinois need lawmakers to fight for them in January


CONTACT: Micky Horstman (312) 607-4977

Lawmakers fail to take action on Invest in Kids scholarship program
Over 9,600 low-income students across Illinois need lawmakers to fight for them in January

CHICAGO (Nov. 9, 2023) – During the legislative veto session, lawmakers in Illinois failed to vote on extending the Invest in Kids scholarship program. Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch, D-Hillside, refused to call a bill.

The state tax credit for donating to the program will expire on Dec. 31, leaving 9,600 low-income and thousands of Black and Brown students without financial aid for the following school year. Unless state lawmakers act during their next session starting in January, these families will need to find other funding or leave their schools.

Polling from the Illinois Policy Institute showed Invest in Kids was supported 3 to 1 by a bipartisan majority. The loudest opposition came from the Chicago Teachers Union, which contributed to 88 current Illinois lawmakers’ political committees, including 38 from outside Chicago’s city limits. CTU still references the closure of 50 schools a decade ago, which affected 12,000 students, as harmful disinvestment in low-income families. Today, they’re leading the charge forcing nearly 10,000 low-income students out of their current schools.

“We will be relentless in our popular, bipartisan efforts to bring educational equity to every child in Illinois, especially the poor and minority children who need help the most,” said Josh Bandoch, head of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute. “While it’s obviously disappointing to see teachers union bosses flex their muscles and harm working kids and families, this is one skirmish in our fight to ensure every child in Illinois has access to the   excellent education that best meets his or her needs. We know the best way to achieve that is through a combination of school choice programs, improving government schools and crafting innovative solutions.”

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