The story of the year is that 8 to 10 states have adopted major school choice expansions this year.
Then there is woeful Illinois – which is RESTRICTING education freedom. The Illinois Invest in Kids program provides grants to about 9,000 students from low-income households to attend a private school and makes available a tax credit for individuals who donate to the program. The program’s cost is capped at $75 million a year, which is less than one-tenth of one percent of the $10.3 billion education budget just passed by the legislature.
So, of course, the Democrats killed the program – no doubt at the behest of the Chicago Teachers Union, which just elected its own lobbyist as Chicago’s new mayor.
The union front group, Illinois Families for Public Schools, had the gall to explain its opposition to Invest in Kids as follows: “We shouldn’t be handing over public dollars to very weakly or completely unsupervised private schools that are discriminating and teaching low-quality curriculum.” That’s a good description of many of the majority of the public schools in the state.
So 9,000 kids, mostly minorities, will now lose their scholarships and will certainly see their lives transformed – for the worse. So much for putting kids first.
There is one small hope for the survival of Invest in Kids before its money runs out on December 31. Lawmakers could approve an extension of the program during this fall’s legislative veto session.
It’s time to turn up the heat on the hypocrites and we at The Hotline plan to do so.