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Majority Oppose Governor Pritzker’s Proposed Scholarship Cut

May 4, 2021 (CHICAGO)A recent ARW Strategies poll shows growing and large majority support for the bipartisan Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to students from low-income and working-class families to attend their best fit school.  

In February, Governor Pritzker announced his plans to cut the program’s tax credit from 75% to 40% as part of his proposal to close “corporate loopholes.” More than 7,000 students in need rely on these scholarships every year, and more than 22,000 scholarships have been awarded since the program began in 2018. Cuts to the program would cause uncertainty and education instability for participating families. 

“The poll results demonstrate strong, diverse support for the Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship Program, particularly within Black and Latino communities,” said Empower Illinois President, Anthony Holter. “We work with great families, school, and community leaders who all believe that during this challenging time, kids need more quality education options, not fewer. Together, we will advocate to protect and extend the tax credit scholarship program for families seeking brighter futures for their students and defend the education opportunities that work best for kids.”

Key findings in the results include: 

  • 61% of voters support the bipartisan Invest in Kids Tax Credit  Scholarship Program, a 7-point increase since October 2020, including: 

        • 71% of Black voters  
        • 81% of Latino voters  
        • 67% of Democratic voters  
  • 60% of voters oppose Governor Pritzker’s proposed cuts to the Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship Program, including 63% of Black voters and 66% of Latino voters  
  • 45% of voters indicated they would be less likely to vote for their state representative or senator if they supported the Governor’s proposed cut  
  • Only 19% of voters would be more likely to vote for their state representative or senator’s reelection if they supported the Governor’s proposed cut  
  • 87% of voters believe Illinois should guarantee equality of opportunity to students of all races, gender, income, or other socio-economic factors when thinking about education

 

The Invest in Kids Act 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 by more than $1 billion and generated more than $167 million in private donations to scholarships for students from low-income and working-class families to attend their best-fit, private school.  

 

The poll was conducted between April 12-15, 2021, by ARW Strategies 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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