Illinois Democrats Kill Scholarships for Low-Income Kids

Written by Jack Elbaum

What’s happening: Illinois Democrats killed a popular tax-credit program providing more than 9,600 low-income children with scholarships for private school tuition since 2017.

Wide support: Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker did nothing to stop the Invest in Kids Act from expiring despite 63 percent of Illinoisans supporting the program and more than 20,000 students on the waitlist for scholarships.

Big Labor’s role: Four out of five Illinois state legislators have accepted donations from teachers unions, which oppose the scholarship program.

Power and money: Teachers unions have a lot of control over how taxpayer funding is spent in public schools. But if parents spend their money their way, as this program allowed, unions lose their grip on schools.

  • Double standard: It was recently revealed Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates sends her own son to a private school. Gov. Pritzker also sent his children to expensive private schools.

Why it matters: Only 27 percent of third through eighth graders in Illinois public schools are proficient in math and 35 percent in reading. The Invest in Kids program was popular because it gave some students an escape from a failing public school system. These needy students must now find other ways to pay tuition or leave the education their parents think is best.

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