Illinois Families for Public Schools, the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the League of Women Voters of Illinois held a virtual forum on Tuesday April 25, 2023, "What You Need to Know about Invest in Kids: Illinois’ Tax Credit Voucher Program."
If you missed this event or want to share with others, here’s a link to the recording:
You’ll find the slides here from Professor Josh Cowen, looking at the research on student achievement for students who use vouchers, and here from Cassie Creswell, with details on the Invest in Kids program’s issues with oversight and discrimination. See also the new policy brief, "Illinois Lawmakers: Let the State’s Private School Voucher Law Sunset," co-authored by panelist Jessica Levin of Public Funds Public Schools.
More links from the forum:
- TIME How School Voucher Programs Hurt Students by Josh Cowen
- Indiana Coalition for Public Education
- Network for Public Education
- Blog - Vic's Statehouse Notes
Voucher plans are sweeping the country, transferring public funds to private schools. Many Illinois residents don't realize we have a voucher program right here in the form of a tax credit "scholarship" program, known as Invest in Kids.
Our expert panel looks at this national trend, examines the research on student achievement in voucher schools, gives a glimpse of the impact of vouchers on students in our neighboring state of Indiana, and presents important information about Invest in Kids. Learn how you can join the campaign endorsed by more than 50 local, state and national organizations to end the program permanently!
Jessica Levin, is the Acting Litigation Director at the Education Law Center and the Director of Public Funds Public Schools. She will discuss the dramatic increase in voucher program throughout the country, a massive transfer of public funds to private and religious schools.
Dr. Josh Cowen, Professor of Education Policy at Michigan State University, is a nationally recognized researcher on vouchers. He will share his research on the impact of voucher programs on student achievement.
Dountonia S. Batts, a community advocate and a board member of Network for Public Education Action. As a parent, she will share her first-hand experience about the negative/destructive impact of vouchers on students and schools in Indiana.
Cassie Creswell, the director of Illinois Families for Public Schools and a Chicago Public Schools parent, has long experience as an advocate for public schools. She will provide detailed information about the problems with Invest in Kids. You will come away armed with facts and arguments about our voucher program to share with your state legislators.
Thank you to all our co-sponsors:
IL-FPS was in Springfield during this week’s veto session to talk to legislators about Illinois' voucher program. The law that created the program in 2017, the Invest in Kids Act, was supposed to sunset after five years, but it's already been extended for an extra year. Voucher supporters want to remove the sunset clause to make the program permanent and also expand it. But we think public funds should only be for public schools, and we're launching a campaign to push for Invest in Kids to sunset for good. We’re happy to report back that, despite massive amounts of lobbying from pro-voucher groups, there wasn’t movement during veto session on any legislation regarding the Invest in Kids Act.Read more