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CHICAGO –In response to the exciting new plan to keep St. Frances of Rome School in Cicero open, Bobby Sylvester, Executive Director of Community & Government Affairs at Empower Illinois, has released the following statement:

“We are thrilled for the families of St. Frances of Rome School and pleased that their children will have a chance to continue to attend their best-fit school. We are grateful that the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Big Shoulders Fund, and the parish could collaboratively make this happen for the St. Frances of Rome community. However, it also reminds us of the other schools that have closed and the thousands of families across the state who are in limbo after losing their tax credit scholarships. The Big Shoulders Fund, the Archdiocese and other charitable groups across the state will not be able to come up with enough donations to cover the thousands of low income, majority black and brown students who were depending on these scholarships. The only option to provide certainty for these families and prevent more school closures is for the Illinois legislature to renew the Invest in Kids Act this spring.”

 The Invest in Kids Act Tax Credit Scholarship Program is an investment in opportunities for kids and their futures. The General Assembly’s failure to take action in 2023 to save the program will cause over 14,000 students from low-income families to lose their scholarships and many may now have to leave their best-fit schools. Reinstating the program this spring is unmistakably the right thing to do.




About the Invest in Kids Act

The bipartisan Invest in Kids Act passed in 2017 and created the Evidence-Based Funding model for public schools and Illinois’ Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to kids from low-income and working-class families to attend their best-fit private school. All students qualify based on financial need. Since the program’s inception, nearly 41,000 scholarships have been awarded statewide.


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