Save My Scholarship Coalition Policy Update

October 12, 2023

Five years ago, the Illinois Invest in Kids Act was enacted to ensure that children from underrepresented
minority communities and low-income households could access the school that best
meets their needs by removing financial barriers. Since that time, thousands and thousands of
children have accessed their best-fit school thanks to a tax credit scholarship.
With the Invest in Kids Act now up for renewal, we have the opportunity to build on its successes
and make the Tax Credit Scholarship Program even more impactful moving forward. Our broad
coalition of families, schools, and community leaders have raised their voices about this program’s
importance and the need to see it continue for generations of students. As a coalition, we support
policy changes that would create stability for already participating families by building onto the
existing Tax Credit Scholarship Program and strengthening the program’s support for the most
vulnerable students.

Lawmakers are listening and are seeking ways to support the very children the Tax Credit
Scholarship Program was intended to serve, as well as narrow the program’s focus onto those
families and kids who face the greatest disadvantages. The Invest in Kids Act was designed to
provide increased support for families with greater economic need, students with unique learning
needs, and economically challenged communities. Importantly, however, disproportionately
impacted neighborhoods are most often those Black and Latino communities call home. While
over 50 percent of current tax credit scholarship recipients are currently Black and Latino
children from low-income households, policy changes could increase their participation
significantly. If legislators take action, these policy changes could substantially increase access to
best-fit private schools for under-represented minority groups through a life-changing tax credit

We are committed to ensuring the Tax Credit Scholarship Program remains a constant and
steady lifeline for the tens of thousands of children from under-represented and under-resourced
communities who rely on it. Further, we are ready to reaffirm on our commitment by advancing
policy changes that provide additional opportunities to communities that are all too often denied
quality options.

Toward that end, and in direct response to concerns raised by legislators, we have developed a
revised policy that would increase scholarship opportunities for families in under-represented
communities in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. If enacted by the legislature, this
policy change would achieve the coalition’s goals, importantly keeping the Tax Credit Scholarship
Program alive and helping even more students. In the coming weeks, we will be sharing the
framework of this policy and related language. We look forward to further discussing the important
impacts of this policy moving forward.