The “Invest in Kids” program in Illinois, also known as the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program, is designed to provide scholarships to eligible students to attend private schools in the state. My husband and I don’t receive the benefits of this program and I’ve looked at the pros and cons of the program. We chose private school because the public school had nothing in place to handle educating a 2e child and also has issues with bullying. That’s not even mentioning the focus the local public schools seem to have a much higher focus on sports than academics.
Our local public school is currently debating changing their pass to play program to allow students to participate in sports if they are passing 4 of their 7 classes. The notes from the meetings highlight how important they feel extracurricular activities are for students. It even goes so far as to mention that 50% of the freshmen are failing at least one class.
Here are the pros and cons of this program: Invest in Kids:
1. Expanded Educational Opportunities: The program offers students from low-income families the opportunity to attend private schools that they might not have otherwise been able to afford. This expands their educational options beyond traditional public schools.
2. Reduced Financial Burden: For eligible families, the program can significantly reduce the financial burden of private school tuition, making it more accessible.
3. Increased School Choice: Parents have the freedom to choose the private school that best fits their child’s needs, which can lead to a more personalized education.
4. Potential for Improved Academic Outcomes: Advocates argue that competition between public and private schools can lead to improved academic outcomes in both sectors as they strive to attract students.
1. Diverting Funds from Public Education: Critics argue that the program diverts funds away from public schools, potentially exacerbating funding issues in already underfunded districts.
2. Lack of Accountability: Some opponents claim that private schools participating in the program may not be subject to the same level of accountability and transparency as public schools, potentially compromising the quality of education.