FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - October 26, 2023
CHICAGO REPUBLICANS: WE FINALLY AGREE WITH GOVERNOR PRITZKER!
The Chicago Republican Party commends Governor Pritzker for being willing to sign a bill extending the duration of the Invest in Kids Scholarship Program. We urge the General Assembly to pass the extension in the Veto Session to avoid an expiration of the program.
Under Invest in Kids, private individuals and companies receive a tax credit for donating to the fund. The fund provides education scholarships for children from underprivileged families. According to the Illinois Policy Institute, “the household income of the majority of families who received scholarships in 2022-2023 school year was the equivalent of just $49,025 or less for a family of four. Of those families, 27% live below the poverty line.” Further, the majority of the recipients are Black or Hispanic students.
Predictably, the Chicago Teachers Union is seeking to kill the program to consolidate its own power and funding, using its clout on Chicago Democratic legislators. The CTU has falsely described the program as a “tax voucher scam” (whatever that means) that “has sucked $450 million out of our public schools” since 2017. That is nonsense.
The program has allowed private donors to give schoolchildren a chance to escape the shoddy education being provided by Chicago Public Schools and the CTU.
According to the research firm of Wirepoints just 17 of every 100 black CPS students can read at grade level and only 8 of every 100 black CPS students are at grade level in math. Just 22 of every 100 Hispanic CPS students can read at grade level and only 13 of every 100 Hispanic students are at grade level in math. We have little wonder on why parents are frantic to get their children into Invest in Kids.
We applaud the action by the Democrat majority in the General Assembly to introduce a bill to preserve the program, but we question the inclusion of a reduction of the current $75 million cap on tax credits to be issued to fund the program. Far from being reduced, we believe that the program should be expanded beyond its current $75 million cap, to promote school choice and free more and more children from the clutches of a failing school system.
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