Equality For All

New Data Shows Illinois Tuition Tax Credit Continues to Provide Windfall to Affluent Families

For the second straight year, the biggest beneficiaries of Illinois’ tuition tax credit law are its most affluent taxpayers—those earning more than $80,000 annually. This finding, based on newly released state data, shatters promises made by supporters of the 1999 law, who had argued that the measure would particularly benefit Illinois’ low-income families

'Devious Plans' Resurface as Gov. Bush Endorses Second Election on Florida's Class Size Initiative

Gov. Jeb Bush publicly gave his support to holding a special election later this year in which voters would be asked to reconsider decisions they’ve already made to support an initiative to reduce class sizes in Florida’s public schools. Amendment 9 was approved by the state’s voters last November. People For the American Way was one of the leading partners in the pro-Amendment 9 Coalition to Reduce Class Size.

The Illinois Tuition Tax Credit: Who Gets the Credit? Who Pays the Consequences?

Illinois enacted its tuition tax credit program in 1999 and is one of six states that offer tax credits or deductions for private school tuition. Like these other states, Illinois adopted its law through a legislative act. Recently, tuition tax credits have gained new interest and attention, as some proponents have suggested that tuition tax credits are a politically viable alternative to more controversial voucher programs.

The Illinois Tuition Tax Credit: Who Gets the Credit? Who Pays the Consequences?

New, publicly available data from the 2001 tax year reveals that the biggest beneficiaries of the tuition tax credit law—by far—are Illinois’ most affluent taxpayers. This data from the Illinois Department of Revenue and Research reveals that nearly half of all tax-credit dollars continue to flow to taxpayers with annual incomes of over $80,000.

The Illinois Tuition Tax Credit: Who Gets the Credit? Who Pays the Consequences?

1. The other five states and the year in which their original tax-credit or deduction statute was enacted are: Minnesota (1955), Iowa (1987), Arizona (1997), Pennsylvania (2001) and Florida (2001). For more information, see: “Vouchers, Tax Credits, and Tax Deductions,” Policy Brief: Vouchers, Education Commission of the States, updated February 2003, pp. 1-5.

Testimony to a Florida Senate Committee on Implementing Class-Size Reduction

Testimony by Nancy Keenan, Director of Education Policy, People For the American Way before the Select Committee on Constitutional Amendment Implementation The Florida Senate on Implementation of Voter-Approved Amendment 9

Bush Tax and Budget Plans: Radical and Irresponsible

The $2.23 trillion federal budget that President Bush sent to Congress this week effectively asks House and Senate members to serve as willing accomplices in a scheme that seriously shortchanges children, seniors, low-income families and others who are among the most vulnerable Americans. The president’s new budget demonstrates that the Bush moniker of “compassionate conservative” is a veneer, not the values guiding this White House.

Title IX Commission Final Recommendations Could Deter Efforts to Provide Equal Opportunities

President Bush's commission on Title IX has endorsed recommendations in their final meeting that threaten three decades of progress toward equal funding and opportunity. Instead of focusing on the limited enforcement of Title IX since its passage thirty years ago, the commission chose to examine a wide range of proposals to alter or weaken the legislation.

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