* Former Florida governor and vanquished presidential hopeful Jeb Bush writing in National Review…
Something revolutionary is happening right now in education. Illinois, one of the most union-dominated states in the country, is ushering in a new era of educational freedom. Governor Bruce Rauner has pulled off the seemingly impossible: He led a bipartisan effort to bring educational choice to Illinois, and it begins this week.
Through a historic new program signed into law by Governor Rauner last year, taxpayers can now receive tax credits for helping fund a $100 million scholarship program. In the first year, children from families with incomes less than 300 percent of the federal poverty line will be eligible to receive a scholarship on a first-come, first-served basis.
Beginning this week, students and their families may apply for scholarships through the Invest in Kids Scholarship Tax Program’s designated scholarship-granting organizations.
The scholarship program has received influential backing from across the political spectrum, including from religious leaders such as Cardinal Blase Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Just as encouragingly, the support from individuals and businesses wishing to participate in the tax-credit program has been overwhelming. In just the first 48 hours of opening the window for participation, the Illinois Department of Revenue reported that half of the needed donations for the first year of the program had been pledged.
That’s the same publication which claimed Rauner was the worst Republican governor in the country, by the way.
* So, how’s the program going? Notice that Gov. Bush only talks about the the first 48 hours of the new program’s rollout.
Since then, pledges to Invest in Kids seem to have slowed way down. As of today, they’re at $45 million in contributions out of $100 million in available tax credits. And most of that, 36.5 million, is from Cook County (which is still short of that county’s $51.2 million contribution limit).
But Cook is closer to its limit than any other region. The southern Illinois region has seen just $983K in contributions even though the region’s contribution limit is $8.2 million. You can click here for a pdf file of a search I ran at about 12:30 this afternoon.
…Adding… Pritzker campaign…
Today, failed presidential candidate Jeb Bush endorsed failed governor Bruce Rauner’s twice vetoed “accomplishment” on school funding reform.
First, Rauner used his veto to hold school funding hostage to force through a back-door school voucher program. Rauner then issued another amendatory veto of a fix to the new funding formula. After throwing school funding into crisis, Rauner finally struck a deal with his own political appointees to avert the crisis he originally caused, implementing the school funding formula he vetoed.
“Bruce Rauner vetoed school funding reform, touted the reform as an accomplishment, vetoed a fix to that ‘accomplishment,’ struck a deal with his own appointees, and now wants the General Assembly to re-pass the same fix he vetoed,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Jeb may be asking Illinoisans to ‘please clap’ for this failed governor, but students and families are tired of being subjected to the whims of Bruce Rauner’s incompetence.”