Lawmakers Protect Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program

Last week, Illinois lawmakers acted to protect the state’s $100 million tax credit scholarship program, first enacted in 2017. The program currently serves more than 7,000 students, with thousands more in line to receive scholarships.

Despite opponents’ attempts to slash funding and ultimately eliminate the popular program, lawmakers sided with families and the children who benefit from additional educational options. The 7,000 participating families and 42,000 families on the wait list for a scholarship engaged in a “Save My Scholarship” campaign, led by Empower Illinois and a coalition of families, education advocates, and school leaders from 146 schools. They visited the vast majority of state lawmakers and wrote more than 3,000 letters demonstrating the impacts of this scholarship program.

Statement from John Schilling, President of the American Federation for Children:

“No child should be denied access to the school that works best for his or her unique needs because of family income or ZIP code. We applaud Illinois lawmakers who fought to protect this vital educational option for Illinois families and students and we thank the Governor for signing a final bill that protected this program into law. Much credit goes to the courageous families and advocates who stood up to defend the tax credit scholarship program. Their letters, phone calls, and office visits truly made the difference.”