Existing Programs:

Tax credits for educational expenses — 1999
Gives a tax credit to parents of children in public or private school to help cover expenses, including tuition.

Legislature Status:

In session.

Pending Legislation:

SB 1248
“School Choice Act”
Gives vouchers to children in overcrowded or low-performing schools in Chicago for them to attend private school. The bill was introduced on Jan. 31, 2013 by Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine, and was re-referred to the Assignments Committee. The bill is dated: It mandates that a voucher program be launched in June.

SB 1777
“Opportunity Scholarship Act”
Gives vouchers to children in overcrowded or low-performing schools. The bill was introduced on Feb. 15, 2013 by Sen. Michael Connelly, R-Springfield, and was re-referred to the Assignments Committee.


House Bill 310, which was voted down by the state House of Representatives in April,  is the only private school choice bill that has been put up to a vote, and was resoundingly defeated 92-13. The bill would have created a scratch-off lottery game, the proceeds of which would have been used to provide private-school scholarships — essentially vouchers in all but but name. It marks the second time Rep. Lashawn Ford has introduced such legislation; he says he will try again next year.


Get more information on the ALEC education bill introduced in Illinois during in 2013, the Alternative Certification Act (HB 513, HB 1868).

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