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Ending Illinois' Discriminatory Voucher System: Why Lawmakers Must Listen to the IFT's Urgent Call

End Illinois' Discriminatory Voucher System Known as “Invest in Kids

In 2022-2023, most voucher-funded schools showed alarming disparities: 52% had no Black voucher recipients and 33% had no Latinx recipients. In Chicago, 43% of schools receiving Invest in Kids funds had ZERO Black voucher students, revealing a troubling exclusionary trend.

As the veto session approaches, the Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery issued the following statement urging legislators to allow Invest in Kids to sunset as the current law provides.

"The Illinois Federation of Teachers vehemently opposes the voucher system known as Invest in Kids, a misguided policy relic of the Rauner administration. This ill-conceived program diverts precious public education funds to provide tax breaks for the wealthy while failing to address the needs of Black and Brown children in our communities.

“Instead of fostering equitable education opportunities for disadvantaged children, it exacerbates the existing disparities, widening the gap between the privileged few and the disadvantaged many. This egregious misallocation of resources cannot continue, and the Illinois Federation of Teachers urges lawmakers to take a stand for fairness and equity.

“There are no data that show that programs like Invest in Kids improve academic outcomes and there are no Illinois data on how many scholarship recipients were already attending private schools; nationwide data shows that nearly 75% of scholarship students were already attending private school.

“The advocates are now proposing changes to the program that they claim would create more opportunities for underserved students – this is a clear admission that the program hasn’t been living up to its promise for the past six years. As the veto session approaches, we call for the sunset of Invest in Kids and a renewed commitment to fully funding our public schools that serve all students."


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