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"Lawmakers Seek to Dismantle School-Choice Scholarship Program for Low-Income Students" from Illinois Policy

on Thursday, 26 April 2018.

It’s evident that too many Illinois students aren’t receiving the education they deserve.

Illinois students’ level of college-readiness trails the national average, despite the fact that per-student education spending in Illinois exceeds many of its higher-performing neighbors and peer states.

But Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson recently offered a hopeful insight. Referring to Chicago’s selective test-in high schools, Jackson said, “We want to see more students going to higher-tier schools, we want to see more diversity in our schools and we want parents and families to be more satisfied with their choices.”

Continue reading "Lawmakers Seek to Dismantle School-Choice Scholarship Program for Low-Income Students" from Illinois Policy.

"Illinois Passes Landmark Funding Bill Creating Tax Credit Scholarship, Sending More Money to Poor Schools" from The 74

on Wednesday, 30 August 2017.

Illinois lawmakers passed a landmark compromise that would revamp the way schools are funded and create the state’s first private school choice program.

The Senate on Tuesday afternoon voted 38-13 to approve the plan, a day after it made it through the House.

“There will not be another generation of students subject to inequity, the worst in the country, after this bill becomes law,” Democratic Sen. Andy Manar, who sponsored it, said, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Continue reading "Illinois Passes Landmark Funding Bill Creating Tax Credit Scholarship, Sending More Money to Poor Schools" from The 74. 

"On Third Try, Illinois House Approves Education Funding Bill" from The Chicago Tribune

on Tuesday, 29 August 2017.

Following some twists and turns, the Illinois House on Monday narrowly approved a historic overhaul of the way the state funds schools, a key step toward freeing up money for classrooms that also sets the stage for a Chicago Public Schools property tax hike.

The measure, which passed with two votes to spare, heads to the Senate for a vote as early as Tuesday. Gov. Bruce Rauner has vowed to sign the bill "quickly," and Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised the plan as providing "parity and stability for children across Illinois."

The day was not without drama, however, primarily due to Democratic opposition to a Republican-backed $75 million tax credit program for private school tuition. Teachers unions had spent the weekend lobbying against the plan, and afterward the Chicago Teachers Union called it an "assault" on public education.

Still, the agreement was hailed as an example of what can happen when Democrats and Republicans work together instead of ripping each another apart.

Continue reading "On Third Try, Illinois House Approves Education Funding Bill" from The Chicago Tribune. 

"A Rare Shot for School Choice in Illinois" from the Chicago Tribune

on Sunday, 13 August 2017.

For too long, low-income children in Illinois have been prisoners of their ZIP codes. Their educational opportunities are determined by arbitrary lines on a map that pen families inside a school district's boundaries.

Lawmakers who are wrestling over a new school funding formula this week should embrace a compromise that would rescue those children. They can advance a proposal creating scholarships for low- and middle-income kids to attend school outside their district boundaries.

Continue reading "A Rare Shot for School Choice in Illinois" from the Chicago Tribune.

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