* Mark Brown has an interesting column with some details of the new private (and out of district public) school scholarship income tax credit program…
To qualify for a scholarship, a student’s family income can’t exceed 300 percent of the federal poverty level, which is currently $73,800 for a family of four.
But students from the same size household whose family income is $45,000 or less will get first crack at the scholarship money.
Students in that lowest income category will each be eligible for the maximum scholarship, which will be calculated as the lesser of the statewide average operational expense per public school student — currently about $12,280 — or the actual tuition and fees of the school they choose to attend. […]
The tax credits are to be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis but will be limited by the proportion of private school students in a given geographic area, the details of which remain to be determined.
This provision was intended to prevent the Chicago area from hogging all the tax credits — and consequently all the scholarships.
You really should go read the whole thing.
*** UPDATE *** Greg Hinz…
Pritzker’s campaign confirms to me that, had he been in the General Assembly, he would have voted against [the school funding reform bill] because the measure included a controversial provision providing $75 million a year in tax credits for donors to private and parochial school scholarships. […]
The question: Would the candidate really have risked shutting schools statewide over a $75 million program in a $7 billion bill?
Good question. I’ve asked the campaign.
* Zorn: After the rush job to use public money on private schools, now we wait
* Agudath Israel Of Illinois Applauds New School Choice Program
* School funding reform, with private school scholarships, heads to Rauner’s desk
* Illinois will likely become the largest blue state to offer private school choice
* East Moline superintendent “elated” by school funding bill passage
* Editorial: New education funding formula will benefit Illinois’ children