ST. CHARLES – On Tuesday, State Representative Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) introduced a resolution urging a vote in the House of Representatives and Senate on legislation to make the Invest in Kids Program in Illinois permanent. House Resolution 412 urges the General Assembly to take a vote on removing the sunset provision currently in the Invest in Kids Act during the 2023 fall veto session.
“It’s common knowledge that when we invest in children and education, we reap the rewards for generations, and we need to take action when we are falling behind on these key statistics,” said Rep. Ugaste. “Currently, we are last in the nation for state economies with the most racial equality and we need to address and fix this problem. We need to make certain that we are providing equal opportunity for everybody in Illinois and that begins with action in the General Assembly. We need a straight up and down vote, not an amendment to another bill, on this critical issue. This sunset needs to be removed so we can provide more opportunities for education in Illinois.”
Rep. Ugaste referenced a 2023 study from WalletHub of the state economies with the most racial equality, where Illinois was ranked 50th out of 50 states. According to the Illinois State Board of Education, in 2021-2022, student reading proficiency rates were 30% and student math proficiency rates were 26%. Illinois public school enrollment made a nearly 7.5% drop from the 2018-2019 school year.
The Invest in Kids Scholarship Tax Credit Program was enacted in 2017. It offers a 75% income tax credit to individuals and businesses that contribute to qualified Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs). These SGOs then provide scholarships for families meeting income requirements to attend non-public schools and technical academies in Illinois. The Invest in Kids Act is scheduled to be repealed on January 1st, 2025.
Rep. Ugaste is a co-sponsor of two bills to extend the Invest in Kids repeal date or remove it altogether to make the program permanent. Rep. Ugaste is a member of the Opportunity Caucus, which is focused on multiple bills to enact real education reform, among other issues.