No voucher schemes:
not in Illinois
The Invest in kids Act is just another voucher scheme that would force You to pay for private schools.
In Illinois, 9 in 10 students attend our public schools. Voucher tax schemes like the Invest In Kids Act funnel money away from our already-underfunded public schools and children and redistribute tax dollars to private schools, including those that discriminate against children and their families. Research shows that school vouchers do not improve students' academic performance and they fail to support disabled and special-needs students.
Q: What are school vouchers?
A: Vouchers are education tax dollars that are diverted from public schools and given to private schools and religious schools.
Q: Does IL have a school voucher program?
A: Yes. In 2017, the IL General Assembly passed the Invest in Kids Act to allow state tax dollars to fund private school tuition costs.
Q: How do vouchers impact public school funding?
A: More than 80% of Illinois public schools are still not adequately funded even though a new funding formula in 2017 was passed. Every dollar diverted from the General Revenue Fund to private and religious schools is a dollar that can’t be used for public school funding.
Q: Do voucher programs improve academic achievement?
A: No. Study after study has shown that voucher programs do not improve academic outcomes and, in many cases result in lower achievement.
Q: Do voucher programs improve opportunities for struggling students?
A: No. Private schools select who they want to educate by limiting services for students
with learning disabilities, enforcing strict policies, and “counseling out” or expelling students that present the most difficulties.
Q: Do voucher programs provide equity?
A: No. The 900,000 low-income students in Ilinois public schools will not be helped by diverting funds to a privatized system that could be used instead to provide funding needed for smaller class sizes, enriched curriculum, better professional development and wraparound services.
Q: Shouldn't parents have a choice about their child's education?
A: Of course. Parents should have the right to choose the school they feel will best serve their child. However, this doesn’t mean that taxpayers should be responsible for paying for their private school tuition.
Q: Who supports voucher programs?
A: Groups who want to discredit and dismantle public education, like the think tank Illinois Policy Institute, the Archdiocese of Chicago and other religious groups who want funding for their schools. Other student growth organizations such as Empower IL who receive 5% of the voucher dollars they administer, and new parent groups like Awake IL are in favor of these programs.
Q: Wasn’t the Invest in Kids Act just supposed to be temporary?
A: Yes. The Invest in Kids Act was written with a five-year sunset provision. But it was already given a one-year extension, and supporters of privatizing public schools have had legislation introduced to expand the program and make it permanent.
Q: What can be done to ensure this program ends as intended?
A: The Illinois General Assembly must not pass any bills to further extend this program. Your state rep and state senator need to hear from you. Tell them that Invest in Kids must sunset. Public schools are attended by 90% of the kids in Illinois, and that’s where our state’s funding obligations lie. Vouchers undermine our public school system, which is a pillar of our democracy.
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See what has happened in other states that have passed similar legislation:
Invest in Kids Annual Report 2022
IL Department of Revenue
The Highly Negative Impacts of Vouchers
Center for American Progress
The following organization support
public funds for public schools
Access Living ● ACLU of Illinois ● Action Ridge ● Activate Chicago Parents ● AFT Local 604 ● American Association of University Women Illinois ● American Association of University Women Naperville Area ● Americans United for the Separation of Church and State ● Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago ● BG Pride ● Brighton Park Neighborhood Council ● Center for Tax and Budget Accountability ● Chicago Coalition for the Homeless ● Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights ● Chicago Teachers Union ● COFI ● ED-RED ● Equality Illinois ● Families 4 Students and Teachers ● 50th Ward Working Families ● 48th Ward Neighbors for Justice ● Healing to Action ● Illinois Education Association ● Illinois Families for Public Schools ● Illinois Federation of Teachers ● Illinois High School District Organization ● Illinois National Organization for Women ● Illinois Parent Teacher Association ● Indivisible Chicago ● Indivisible Evanston ● Indivisible Lincoln Square ● JCUA ● Journey for Justice Alliance ● League of Women Voters of Illinois ● Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois ● Legal Council for Health Justice ● LEND ● Library Defense ● National Association of Social Workers - IL Chapter ● Network for Public Education ● Network 49 ● Northside Action for Justice ● ONE Northside ● PFLAG Council of Northern Illinois ● Pilsen Alliance ● POWER-PAC IL ● Public Funds Public Schools ● Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education ● SCOPE ● Teach Plus ● 39th Ward Neighbors United ● 33rd Ward Working Families ● Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois ● United Northwest Side