Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery issued the following statement commending the Illinois General Assembly for their decision to end the tax credit scholarship/voucher program known as “Invest in Kids.”
“Ending the Invest in Kids program is a significant stride in giving top priority to the needs of our public education system and guaranteeing equal opportunities for every student, particularly those from Black, Brown, special education, and LGBTQ+ communities.
“Educators and the unions that represent them will always fight for our public schools and the students that they serve. There is a nationwide push to divert public dollars from our public schools through vouchers or voucher-like programs like tax credit scholarships and education savings accounts. Today, Illinois lawmakers chose to put our public schools first and end the state program that subsidized private, mostly religious schools, many of which have discriminatory policies.
“Even though the Invest in Kids program is ending, nothing prevents donors from contributing to private school scholarship funds and claiming any associated federal tax deduction in future years. In Illinois, we can now refocus on efforts to fund our public schools, which are still billions of dollars and decades away from being fully and adequately funded. Our message going forward is simple: Public funds belong in public schools that serve all students.
“We will continue to work with our school communities and lawmakers to advocate for equitable educational policies that uplift every child and strengthen our public education system by fully funding it and opposing any voucher or voucher-like programs in the future.”