school books

Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021

Gov. J.B. Pritzker today unveiled his budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1, proposing a cut to the Tax Credit Scholarship program that allows low-income and working-class students to receive scholarships to Catholic and other nonpublic schools.

The budget book notes the following:

Limit Tax Credit for Private School Scholarships 

In 2017, Illinois added an income tax credit program granting a 75 percent income tax credit to individuals and businesses that contribute to scholarship funds for private schools. The Governor is proposing to change to a 40 percent tax credit to align more closely to the marginal value of contributions at the federal level and to permit the credit even if the taxpayer claims the amount of the contribution as an itemized deduction for federal income tax purposes. This is estimated to generate an additional $14 million in income tax revenues for the general funds.

The Catholic Conference today issued the following statement as a response to Pritzker’s proposal.

The proposal by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to slash the Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship program reduces the most effective state program for low-income and working-class students in Illinois. Even during the pandemic, scholarship recipients have been attending high-quality, nonpublic schools. Students at Catholic schools have been learning in-person since August and have surpassed nationally-certified benchmarks. This is the time to expand the program so that more low-income and working-class students can attain educational achievement that will lead to a successful future. 

We urge the governor to reconsider and work towards expanding educational opportunities instead of restricting them.