In 2017, as a result of a backroom deal between then Governor Rauner, legislative leaders and the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the IL General Assembly created a K-12 voucher program for Illinois in the form of a tax credit scholarship scheme. Known as the Invest in Kids Act, the law allows up to $75 million in tax revenue to be diverted to private schools each year.
This program was intended to last for five years and to sunset after the 2022-2023 school year. It has been extended for one additional school year already, and some supporters of private and religious schools want it to be made permanent and expand!
Illinois Families for Public Schools opposes extending or expanding this voucher program. Vouchers harm the public good in a variety of ways including by diverting public dollars from our already underfunded Illinois public schools, and research has shown that they do not improve academic outcomes for children who receive vouchers. Voucher schools in Illinois discriminate on the basis of religion, disability status, LGBTQ+ status and more---that's not what education equity looks like.
It should be "game over" for IL's voucher program—we need to ensure that the Invest in Kids Act sunsets as intended after this school year!
Learn more here:
- Slideshow: Illinois' Backdoor Voucher Program
- FAQ Explainer: Invest In Kids Act: What you need to know to about IL's voucher program
- One-pager for legislators: Sunset the ‘Invest in Kids’ Act
- Public Funds Public Schools Voucher and Funding Diversion Legal Cases
- National Coalition for Public Education Opposing Private School Vouchers: A Toolkit for Legislators and Advocates
- IL Dept of Revenue: Invest In Kids site
- Center for American Progress (May 2019) The Danger Private School Voucher Programs Pose to Civil Rights
- Network for Public Education's Privatization Toolkit
Are you interested in helping us ensure that Illinois' voucher program ends? Sign up below to get updates about the campaign and opportunities to get involved!
If you represent an organization that would like to be collaborate with IL-FPS on this campaign, please get in touch via email [email protected]
We are also happy to do presentations for your neighborhood or community group to explain IL's voucher program and why it needs to end. Email us to schedule a time.