End of Illinois School Voucher Program Cheered

Advocate Andy

Lawmakers allowed plan to sunset

A coalition of public education advocates are cheering the end of a school voucher plan in Illinois.

Illinois lawmakers recently adjourned without extending funding for the 2017 Invest in Kids Act, a school voucher plan that provided tax credits for individuals contributing to a school voucher scholarship program. This means the provisions of the existing law will begin to end in January of 2024.

In a statement, Illinois Families for Public Schools explained the group's opposition to the program and thanked coalition members for their work in ending the voucher plan.

"This is a huge win for public schools in Illinois. It is also a win for the principle of the separation of church and state and for ensuring public dollars are not used to violate civil rights and are spent with the oversight, transparency and accountability that public spending should require. Public funds must be for public schools that serve all kids.

This is also a historic win for the fight against the privatization of public schools in our country more broadly. We are the first state in the US to roll back an existing voucher scheme.

It was a mistake for the Illinois General Assembly to pass the Invest in Kids Act in 2017. We are thankful that they listened to a broad coalition of over 65 local, state and national organizations, and let this voucher program sunset as planned. We hope it is paired with a renewed commitment by ILGA to fully resource a system of high-quality public schools for every child and community in our state, a commitment that is in our state constitution but one that we have not yet fulfilled."

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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