Union bosses pay lobbyist big bucks to kill school choice as he sends his kids to private school
Sean Denney, director of government relations at the Illinois Education Association, makes four times more than the average family receiving an Invest in Kids tax credit scholarship. He can afford private school for his children but is trying to end that option for others.
Enter Sean Denney, the director of government relations at the Illinois Education Association, which opposes Illinois’ Invest in Kids tax credit scholarship program.
Denney sends his own children to a Catholic school in Springfield, Illinois, according to a report by NBC 5 in Chicago. He earns a six-figure income as chief lobbyist for the IEA.
Unlike the families receiving scholarships through the Invest in Kids program, Denney can afford to send his kids to private school. He makes four times more than the average family receiving a scholarship.
The IEA pays Denney more than $188,000 a year, according to the union’s 2022 federal filing with the U.S. Department of Labor. That doesn’t account for any other household income he or family members may receive from other sources.
On the other hand, the average family receiving an Invest in Kids scholarship makes just $45,046 a year.
According to the state, students are eligible for scholarships in the program if their household adjusted gross income the year before does not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that’s $51,337. Once the child receives a scholarship, household income cannot exceed 400% of the federal poverty level.
But records show most recipients come from households earning much less. The Year Five Impact Report of Empower Illinois, one of the organizations processing and granting scholarship applications under the program, shows the average family income of scholarship recipients is just $45,046. That’s just 170% of the federal poverty level.
And far less than Denney’s income.
Denney’s choosing private school for his own family while trying to kill that option for low-income families isn’t just hypocrisy – it’s insensitive elitism.
If you want to make sure low-income families have a choice about their children’s schools, contact your state lawmakers and ask where they stand on saving Invest in Kids.