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October 14, 2020, Chicago, IL–A recent We Ask America poll shows high demand for the landmark, bipartisan Invest in Kids Act, which provides scholarships to low-income and working-class students to attend private schools. This legislation passed as part of Illinois’ historic reforms to its education funding formula in 2017. The reforms contained in the Invest in Kids Act have increased public school funding for lower-income students by more than $1 billion and generated more than $138 million in private funding for lower-income students attending private schools. 

“This poll is important as it underscores parents’ desire for education options for their children and highlights the strong support for the Tax Credit Scholarship Program that makes these education options possible. The poll also provides a sobering reminder of the challenges students and working parents face during the pandemic,” said Empower Illinois President, Anthony Holter. “Propelled by these strong numbers, Empower Illinois will continue to advance new education pathways under the Tax Credit Scholarship Program that prepare students from low-income and working-class families for success in college and career, paving the way to a bright future.” 

The polling highlights support for families to have education options that can best prepare their kids for the future, as well as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on learning. Key findings in the results include:

    • 54% of voters support the bipartisan Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship Program, including:
        • 72% of Black voters
        • 65% of Latino voters
        • 61% of Democratic voters
    • Only one-third of voters believe the current public education system prepares students for success after high school
    • More than half (53%) of voters would choose a different type of school than their zoned public school if money were not an issue
    • 44% of families making less than $50,000/year have found work impossible with online-only learning
    • 65% of voters are concerned that their child is falling behind academically due to their child not receiving full in-person learning

The poll was conducted between September 27 and 29, 2020, by We Ask America and surveyed 800 registered Illinois voters. 

About Empower Illinois

Empower Illinois is a statewide education policy and research nonprofit and Scholarship Granting Organization created to serve Illinois’ children through the state’s tax credit scholarship program. Children only get one chance at a quality education, and Empower Illinois’ mission is to expand quality education options for low-income and working-class families of Illinois.

Illinois’ Invest in Kids tax credit scholarship program was created in 2017 to benefit children whose educational options are limited by household income or ZIP Code. Empower Illinois serves as a conduit for processing donations, scholarship awards and program compliance for approximately 91 percent of all recognized private schools in Illinois.

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