Empower Illinois and the thousands of families and students who rely on the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program for their education are deeply concerned by Governor J.B. Pritzker’s recent remarks stating, “I am willing to work with the (tax credit scholarship) program or figure out how to wind down the program if it’s not extended.”
We hope it was only a misstatement from the Governor and not a softening on his commitment to support Illinois’ most vulnerable families.
Governor Pritzker’s inclusion of an option to “wind down” such an impactful program is a departure from his previous statements in late May where he said, “If the legislature passes something, I will sign it.” Ending the Tax Credit Scholarship Program means ripping scholarships away from the most vulnerable, poor, and working-class children and their families. Black and Brown students will be disproportionally impacted if the Tax Credit Scholarship Program is killed by inaction as the Governor suggested, and that is unacceptable.
Announcing any burial plans for a program that has been immensely successful for Illinois children would be beyond premature. We expect lawmakers to do what’s right by children–extend the program, with no cuts, no wind down.
We urge Governor Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly to act this fall during Veto Session to immediately extend the Invest in Kids Act Tax Credit Scholarship Program, providing Illinois kids and families with the reassurance and support they so rightly deserve.