Pritzker Proposes Closing Private School Scholarships Program

Pritzker is formally asking lawmakers to shut down Illinois’ private school scholarship program and pour more money into public schools.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is formally asking lawmakers to shut down Illinois’ private school scholarship program and pour more money into public schools.

In his budget proposal Wednesday, Pritzker proposes taking the $100 million cap on donations to the Invest in Kids private school scholarship program and cutting it down to $50 million, $11 million less than what was donated in the program’s first year. He proposed to phase it out over the next three years.

As part of the overhaul of Illinois’ education funding formula in 2017, lawmakers added the five-year Invest in Kids pilot program, which grants a 75 percent income tax credit to those who donate scholarship funds for private schools. Officials with the program said most of the donations were for less than $1,000 and from individual donors.

"The governor is proposing to phase out the program over the next three years so that the state can direct its limited revenues to funding its commitments to public schools first," according to the proposal.


Pritzker said he opposed using tax revenue to subsidize private schools when he said Illinois does such a poor job of funding public schools, the Sun-Times reported.

"I want to make sure that we are fully funding our public schools before we turn to funding private schools and providing tax credits for wealthy people in the state," Pritzker told the newspaper. "So we are cutting back on that program, making sure that we’re providing the tax credit funding for the kids who are already taking advantage of it, but scaling it back so that we’re taking those dollars and applying them to public schools."

Holter said Pritzker’s assertion that the funding for the scholarships could be put into public schools is misleading.

"It’s not like there’s a big $100 million or $75 million pool of money out there that we’ve taken from some other pot of money," he said. "We work hard to make sure that the story of [this program's] importance and impact is out there so that these private citizens feel inspired to give."

Lawmakers filed legislation last year that would have barred paying out tuition or granting any tax rebates until every public school in the state was given adequate funding as dictated by the Illinois State Board of Education. It would have inevitably ended the program because the state is far from reaching ISBE’s set funding level adequacy.

1 year, 6 months ago

Governors in Iowa, North Dakota and Alabama join GOP colleagues in banning TikTok for state employees

The Republican governors of three more states have joined the growing number of GOP governors who are banning TikTok among state government employees amid security concerns about the Chinese-owned social media platform

1 year, 6 months ago

Arizona Governor Creates Shipping Container Border Wall

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has had hundreds of double-stacked shipping containers topped with razor wire placed on the state’s border with Mexico

1 year, 6 months ago

Stacey Abrams’s Georgia Nonprofit Could Face Criminal Investigations for Unlicensed Fundraising

New Georgia Project's charity license has lapsed in at least nine states

1 year, 6 months ago

Biden says ‘more important things’ than border visit, despite 59 trips to Delaware, 8 stops for ice cream

Biden has yet to visit southern border despite historic crisis under his watch

1 year, 6 months ago

Governor Kristi Noem delivers annual Budget Address, says the state can afford grocery tax cut

In about thirty minutes of remarks, Governor Kristi Noem laid out her administration would like to see nearly $2.2 billion spent over the course of the next fiscal year and a half.

1 year, 6 months ago

‘A Clear And Present Danger To Its Users:’ South Carolina Gov. Bans State Employees From Using TikTok Amid National Security Concerns

South Carolina became the second state in the union Monday to permanently ban state employees’ electronic devices from using TikTok amid federal officials sounding the alarm that the Chinese-based social media app threatens national security