School funding bill contains school choice program for students in poorly performing school districts
A new public school funding bill recently passed by the Illinois Legislature, SB1947, includes a scholarship program that would award donated funds to students in lower-income families — up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level — to provide them the opportunity to attend private schools.
A provision within the bill allows for scholarship eligibility to students in select “focus districts” in the state, including several in east central Illinois.
In east central Illinois, students who meet income criteria in the following school districts are eligible for the scholarships:
• Danville Community Consolidated School District 118
• Georgetown-Ridge Farm Community Unit School District 4
• Westville Community Unit School District 2
• Wabash Community Unit School District 348
A breakdown from the Illinois Policy Institute reveals the criteria for eligibility: A district must include at least one school ranking in the bottom 10 percent in terms of student performance or a school with a graduation rate of less than 60 percent.