Public schools are failing Illinois students miserably. And now, the state’s sole school choice option is dead thanks to Democrats.
The Chicago Teachers Union is cheering the move, that takes options away from students, as a “historic win.”
Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch made the deliberate decision to prevent a vote on renewing the Invest in Kids Act during the final week of the Veto Session.
“Public Act 100-465 established the Illinois Invest in Kids Act, which has served as the state’s sole school choice option since 2017, and includes a five-year tax credit scholarship program for eligible students who attend qualified nonpublic schools in Illinois.” The Act has served as the state’s sole school choice option since 2017.
While it might be a win for union flunkies, it certainly is not a win for students in the state.
While teachers push Critical Race Theory and the sexualization of children in schools, academic rigor continues to slip lower and lower.
The Illinois State Board of Education’s recent report card is dreadful.
In 30 schools in Illinois, not a single student can read at grade level, 22 of which are in the City of Chicago.
In 53 schools, not a single student can do math at grade level, 33 of which are in Chicago.
Parents feel blindsided by the end of the program.
“I am very disappointed and at this point, I have to tell a second and fifth-grader that I don’t know if they can come back to school the next school year,” Natasha McClendon told NBC Chicago.
McClendon has two children who attend St. Sabina Academy.
Anthony Holder of Empower Illinois, the state’s largest scholarship granting organization, criticized the ending of the program.
“The real tragedy is that kids who now have a scholarship may be forced to leave their school once these scholarships go away,” Holder said.
The IL Freedom Caucus issued a statement after Welch’s deliberate decision:
“Speaker Welch has let down tens of thousands of kids by blocking legislation to extend the Invest in Kids program. There were as many as 35 House Democrats ready to vote for the program (more than enough to pass the bill) had Speaker Welch called the legislation for a vote. The program has handed out nearly 50,000 scholarships since the program launched in the 2018-2019 school year. It has been an effective tool in helping kids – especially low-income kids – escape failing schools. Illinois spends more than $8 billion on education and the greedy, self-serving teachers’ unions went to war to stop a program that at most would provide $75 million in scholarships. The Invest in Kids program did not utilize public taxpayer money. The money came from private donors who received a 75 percent tax credit for their donations. The Invest in Kids program has been a lifeline for families all across the state. Today, Speaker Welch showed his true priorities are to take care of insiders at the expense of everyone else. It is sad day for Illinois kids.”
The Illinois Freedom Caucus is comprised of State Representatives Chris Miller, chairman; Blaine Wilhour, vice-chairman; Adam Niemerg; Brad Halbrook; Dan Caulkins; Jed Davis; and David Friess.