Poll finds most Illinois residents support school choice

Happy private elementary school girls working with teacher
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(The Center Square) – More than six out of every 10 Illinois voters support a system that includes school choice, with nearly 70% of all parents polled in the survey conducted for the Illinois Policy Institute by Echelon Insights taking that position.

A deeper analysis also shows that 59% of all respondents view the Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship Program, the state’s only school choice option that is slated to expire at the end of the year, favorably.

Morton, Illinois, resident Carly Hill told researchers she needs the financial help the program provides to be able to send her son to a private school, just so he will continue to have the chance to benefit from the same opportunities she had as a child.

“Families are wanting options more than anything else,” she added. “If he didn’t get financial aid of any kind, that would be our answer and he would go to public school. It’s simply a perspective or a priority that families can choose things that best fit their individual needs beyond simply what they can afford.”

In all, researchers surveyed 800 Illinois voters over a two-day period beginning March 27-29, with all of the respondents coming from diverse areas, political beliefs and backgrounds.

For purposes of the study, school choice was defined as “gives parents the right to use the tax dollars designated for their child’s education to send their child to the public or private school which best serves their needs.”

Created in 2017, the Invest in Kids program is funded by private donations that cover the costs of scholarships to schools of a low-income family’s choosing. More than 9,000 families benefit from the program by using the grants to be able to send their children to private schools that are more closely aligned with their specific needs.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is on record in expressing his support for the program.

Glenn Minnis
Glenn Minnis is a contributor for The Center Square.

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