SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois “Invest in Kids Act”, which helps students enroll in private schools, is set to expire on December 31st after legislators adjourned from the fall veto session without taking action to extend the program.
The “Invest in Kids” program was started in 2017 under the Republican administration of former Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Under the program, people can donate to select non-profits in exchange for a 75% income tax credit, and the money is used to help send lower-income students to private schools.
More than 9,500 students have already taken advantage of the scholarships.
Critics have said that the scholarships should go to families in underrepresented areas, and have argued for adding additional conditions to the language of the bill.
Some House Democrats filed an extension proposal, but it includes big cuts, including limiting the amount of tax credits the state can award and how much of a credit is available.
“Republicans came to the fall Veto Session to save the Invest in Kids Tax Scholarship Program because these tuition scholarships are life-changing for low income students who were in struggling schools,” said Sen. Andrew Chesney (R-45th). “Democrats, who talk a lot about equity and inclusion, had a chance to put action behind their rhetoric, yet they chose not to. Student achievement outcomes should not be dictated by a child’s zip code. However, the Democrat elite who send their own kids to higher performing schools have no problem denying those of lesser means that same opportunity or choice.”
Legislators have said they will revisit the program when they return to Springfield in mid-January.