Letter: Preserve Tax Credit Scholarship program
As Americans, we are proud to have the ability and freedom to make our own choices. Yet choosing our children's education is restricted, unless a family has the resources to move into a good school district or pay tuition. Education provides the most reliable path out of poverty and a foundation for success.
The bipartisan Invest in Kids Act, passed in 2017, created the evidence-based funding model for public schools and Illinois' Tax Credit Scholarship program. Both create better education options for kids. More than 37,000 tax credit scholarships have allowed students from low-income and working-class families to attend their best-fit school, regardless of their family's income or ZIP code. Scholarships are entirely need-based.
Critics of the program are urging for it to expire, asserting that public funds should be used for public education. These scholarships are funded through private donations, and through the EBF, public schools have received increased funding.
The TCS program would have made a world of difference for family. My parents worked hard and made sacrifices to send me to a private school. That education and helped me earn scholarships and become the first person in my family to graduate from college. The TCS program helps make that possible.
Unfortunately, the program's pilot period ends in December. If legislators do not extend or make it permanent, children may no longer be able to remain at their best-fit school.
Stefanie Linares Hood