Quick update on what's happening in Springfield...
The Governor, Senate President and Speaker of the House announced a budget agreement yesterday that did not include an extension of the Invest in Kids voucher program.Read more
May 19th has come…and gone, but the General Assembly has not adjourned to end the spring session There’s no budget for FY 2024 yet, and we don’t yet know whether the Invest in Kids voucher program will be extended past the current sunset date.
Legislators will be back in Springfield next Wednesday. The real hard deadline to pass bills is May 31st, after which bills need a ⅗ majority to pass.Read more
Update: This bill was not heard on March 28th, and no vote was taken. It has a deadline extension through the end of spring session. We'll be keeping an eye on it.
Illinois Families for Public Schools is in Springfield today talking to legislators about our legislative agenda, including urging them to ensure that the existing Invest in Kids voucher program ends. Unfortunately, a bill to create an even larger, less regulated voucher scheme is in hearing this afternoon, HB 1573, the Education Savings Account Act.Read more
Witness slips needed for clean air in schools, #RacismFreeSchools, child tax credit & stopping book bans
This week's General Assembly committee deadlines mean its witness slip time! This Friday is an important legislative deadline for bills to pass in committee in their chamber of origin. (Here’s a helpful graphic of the route from bill to law.)Read more
As we've been sharing, the General Assembly has one more short “lame duck” session this week before new legislators are seated on Jan 11th. We’re concerned that legislation extending or even expanding the Invest in Kids voucher program could get traction. Keep reading for what you can do to make sure that doesn’t happen!Read more
[Jan 3 2023: Updated alert here] Snow and winter holidays are quieting things down on the political front, but the IL General Assembly will be back right after New Year's Day in a “lame duck” session. And, just like with veto session, it’s possible that during lame duck, legislation on the Invest in Kids voucher program could move that included an extension, expansion or making it permanent.Read more
In 2017, the IL General Assembly passed the Invest in Kids Act and created what was supposed to be a temporary school voucher program that could divert up to $75 million per year in public dollars to fund private schools in Illinois. Voucher programs siphon funds from public schools, they don’t promote education equity and they don’t improve outcomes for the students who receive them. You can read our FAQ about problems with the Illinois’ voucher program here.
Now supporters want to make this program permanent and expand it. This would be extremely damaging for Illinois’ public education system, and that’s why Illinois Families for Public Schools is working with many other state and local orgs, including the League of Women Voters of IL, IL’s teachers unions, the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and many others, to call for ending this program for good.Read more
Action Alert: Ask Sen. Durbin to oppose the College Transparency Act and say NO to a federal student surveillance system
On February 4th, the US House approved a version of the America COMPETES Act that includes the College Transparency Act (CTA), a bill that would allow the US Department of Education to create a federal database to track every student who enrolls in a US institution of post-secondary ed from enrollment to end of life.
The Senate version of America Competes didn’t include the CTA, and now the two chambers are working out via conference committee whether it will be in the final version. As the second-highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin can influence what will happen with this bill.Read more
Last Tuesday the Senate version of the Too Young to Test bill, SB 3986, passed in the Senate Education Committee. There is also a companion bill in the House, HB 5285, filed by chief sponsor Rep Lindsey LaPointe with the same language as the Senate version that is now moving, and it has a House Education Committee hearing this Wednesday 2/16 at 2pm.Read more