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April 27, 2018, Rockford, Ill. – On Thursday, April 26, supporters of the Invest in Kids Act Tax Credit Scholarship Program came together for a press conference to showcase the strong need for the program within the Rockford area.

The speakers included program donors as well as parents seeking scholarships who emphasized how critical this program is for students in the area. In Rockford alone, over 1,500 students have applied for scholarships to attend private schools.

Rockford parent Javier Argumedo received a scholarship for his daughter who will attend Boylan Catholic High School next year. Without the program, this would not have been an option for his family. Javier said he is grateful for the program because not only does it help him, but it helps his daughter, too. “I feel like I won the lottery.”

The tax credit scholarship program, which offers K-12 private school scholarships to low-income and working-class families, has demonstrated the extreme demand for better education options for Illinois students. Over 50,000 students and families throughout the state have applied for scholarships through Empower Illinois, the largest scholarship granting organization in the state. These scholarships are made possible by contributions from individuals and businesses, who in turn receive a 75% tax credit for their donation.

Tom Bauhuin, a program donor, attended Rockford private schools and was proud to send his children there as well. He strongly supports the program as it allows him and his wife the chance to pass on that great education experience to a child in need, giving them “the opportunity of choice.”

“There is an overwhelming amount of interest from families in the Rockford area,” said Scott Dabson, Greater Rockford Area Lutheran Schools Director. “It clearly shows the need for families to have options when it comes to their child receiving a quality education.”

The Invest in Kids Act and tax credit scholarship program represent a major step forward in providing students the chance to get the quality education they need and deserve. The program was established as a bipartisan endeavor by Illinois lawmakers. Empower Illinois is committed to improving access to quality education for every child in every neighborhood.

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