Today, House Deputy Minority Leader Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) joined families and fellow legislators at a press conference to call for the preservation of the Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship Program. This week is the second and final week of the Illinois General Assemblies fall veto session, and without action to extend the scholarship program, thousands of families across the state will lose access to the vital scholarships on January 1, 2024, when the program is set to expire if no action is taken.
“It is absolutely essential that the General Assembly preserve the Invest in Kids scholarship program,” said Spain while flanked by parents and children calling on the House Speaker and Governor to extend the program. “There is broad support throughout the state and in the legislature to continue this program that has helped thousands of families pursue a brighter future through improved educational opportunities. We need leadership from the Governor and courage from the Speaker to call a vote and ensure these families and children are not left behind by a failure to act.”
The Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship Program was enacted in 2017 and offers a 75% income tax credit to individuals and businesses that contribute to qualified Scholarship Granting Organizations. These organizations then provide scholarships for students whose families meet income requirements to attend qualified, non-public schools and technical academies in Illinois. In the 2022-2023 school year, nearly 10,000 students received scholarships to attend better-performing schools. In total, more than 40,000 scholarships have been awarded since the programs inception during the 2018-2019 school year.
“In 2020, when the plug was pulled on my family, we had the means to find an alternative to ensure our children had access to a quality education,” said Spain. “Sadly, however, the families and children who benefit from Invest in Kids scholarships do not have the same means and would be devastated if we fail to preserve this program. We cannot allow a quality education to only be available to some families.”
Several proposals have been filed to preserve the program, but so far the House Speaker Chris Welch has not committed to allowing legislation to be voted on by members of the Illinois House of Representatives.
For video the press conference, which includes remarks from several parents whose children have received scholarships, click here.