Below is a map of Invest in Kids voucher recipients by zip code for the 2021-2022 school year. Original data via the IL Department of Revenue. Spreadsheet of data available here. Mapping courtesy of Anthony Moser.
To 15 zip codes by number of students:
Key: No. of recipients within zip code area
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
The IL State Board of Ed held a series of budget hearings this month to get feedback from the public on requests for the state's FY2024 budget for public education. IL Families for Public Schools' Samay Gheewala spoke at the Oct 4th hearing, along with representatives of several other members of the PEER (Partnership for Equity and Education Rights) Illinois funding coalition. Read his remarks after the jump.Read more
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.Sign up
Big week in Springfield coming up: Friday is the deadline for bills to get out of committee in the House and Senate. On Tuesday the 10th there are two education committee hearings in the House and one in the Senate. There’s a lot of education legislation on the docket, and this is a crucial time to register your opposition and support by filing witness slips.Read more
The IL General Assembly is back in session this week, and there's an important bill on the agenda in the Senate Education Committee this Tuesday, Jan. 30th for supporters of public schools and the common good.Read more
Our statement on the "compromise" school funding bill which contains vouchers.
August 29, 2017Read more
Can you make a phone call before 11am TODAY, Monday, August 28?Read more
Raise Your Hand Action is deeply disturbed to learn that school vouchers will likely be part of a bill that’s supposed to address decades old funding inequities in IL schools. We ask that legislators who actually value public education and believe in the separation of church and state vote against any compromise bill that includes school vouchers. School vouchers have no place in a bill that’s supposed to correct funding inequity, as they will further drain dollars from the public good to private interests.Read more