Illinois Senate Passes Tax Credit Scholarship, Charter Funding Equity

Today, the Illinois State Senate passed a $100 million tax credit scholarship program, and charter funding equity on a bipartisan basis of 38-13 votes after the House approved the measure yesterday.

Statement from Tommy Schultz, National Communications Director for the American Federation for Children:

“Families in Illinois should rejoice as they are about to have more freedom and educational options available for their children. Now that the Senate has passed the bill which the House agreed to yesterday, Illinois is poised to become the 26th state with private school choice and to have the 52nd program in the country, along with bolstered funding for charter students.

“We would like to thank the leaders of both parties that voted to pass the measure, including Senate President Cullerton, Leader Brady, and Senators Manar and Barickman. We look forward to applauding further when Gov. Rauner signs this historic bill into law.”

The legislation the House and Senate have now both passed includes a tax credit scholarship program that will collect $100 million for scholarships, and provide $75 million in tax credits to donors. The legislation also includes funding equity for charter school students. If it becomes law, charter students who were not yet fully funded will see an increase of approximately $2,000 per student per year going towards their education.

The income limit for the tax credit scholarship recipients’ families will be 300 percent of the federal poverty line, and a recipient can stay in the program if the family income rises to 400 percent. Children from poorer families, or those in districts with a failing school will be first in line.