Public schools are failing Illinois students miserably.
While teachers push Critical Race Theory and the sexualization of children in schools, academic rigor continues to slip lower and lower.
The Illinois State Board of Education’s recent report card is dreadful.
In 30 schools in Illinois, not a single student can read at grade level, 22 of which are in the City of Chicago.
In 53 schools, not a single student can do math at grade level, 33 of which are in Chicago.
But for parents hoping that school choice is an option, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson are signaling that the state’s school scholarship program, the Invest in Kids Act, is dead.
According to the Illinois State Board of Education, “Public Act 100-465 established the Illinois Invest in Kids Act. The Act includes a five-year tax credit scholarship program for eligible students who attend qualified nonpublic schools in Illinois.” The Act has served as the state’s sole school choice option since 2017.
Sources have informed Wirepoints that the school scholarship program for Illinois students is dead. Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson and others in the state legislature are going to kill the program for low-income, working-class families when it comes up for renewal this legislative session.
The program – the Invest in Kids Act – currently gives 9,000 kids hope for a better education and a better life through what are called tax-credit scholarships. Those kids have left the traditional public system for schools that better suit their needs.
But Gov. Pritzker and others have a plan to eliminate the program, educational options for families be damned. If there isn’t extreme pushback, say goodbye to the Invest in Kids Act.
To ensure the program doesn’t get renewed, we’re told Pritzker and Johnson want to move the reauthorization of the program out of the state’s budget negotiation process – where it has a higher likelihood of passing – and to the veto session later this year.
The scholarship language will then end up as stand-alone legislation – a single bill that the teachers unions can focus all their efforts on killing.
With such pressure bearing down on them, there’s little chance a majority of legislators will vote to keep the Invest in Kids Act alive.