New Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program to Provide Thousands of Students from Low-Income Families with Scholarships to Attend the School of their Choice
Chicago, IL (December 31, 2017) – The Illinois “Invest in Kids” Act, signed into law in August, includes a provision for tax credit scholarships. Donors to the new program will receive a credit off their state of Illinois income taxes equal to 75 percent of their contribution. Their contribution will be used to support scholarships for students from low-income households to attend a non-public school of their choice. Beginning January 2, 2018 at 8 a.m. CST, individual and corporate donors will be able to reserve tax credits through mytax.illinois.gov. Eligible students will begin applying for the tax credit scholarships in mid-January.
“This legislation recognizes that one of the most important decisions parents make is where their children will go to school,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago. “Prior to the enactment of this law, low-income families had no choice because they did not have the financial means to consider a non-public school. The tax credit scholarship program provides low-income families with the ability to choose. In short, tax credit scholarships level the playing field.”
Since this legislation was passed, the Archdiocese has reached out to thousands of supporters of school choice to encourage them to donate to the scholarships, and many are expected to participate. The Archdiocese has also been working closely with its 214 Catholic schools to share information and resources regarding the new scholarship program with eligible students and families.
“The tax credit scholarship program provides an enormous opportunity for so many deserving families,” said Dr. Jim Rigg, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. “Together with our schools we have hosted scholarship information sessions for hundreds of families across our region. We are thrilled that so many families have come forward to learn more about the scholarships and we will continue to assist them throughout this process.”
The scholarships offered through this program, which are open to K-12 students across the state, could cover up to 100 percent of tuition and eligible fees for next school year (2018/19 school year). Eligibility to receive a scholarship is based on a family’s household income. For example, a student could receive a scholarship if his/her family income is less than $72,900 a year for a family of four.