Cardinal Cupich praises private school tax credits in IL school funding bill

MUNDELEIN, Ill. (WLS) --  As Governor Bruce Rauner toured downstate schools Wednesday, he touted compromise school funding legislation that includes tuition tax credits to help lower income families send their kids to private schools.

That portion of the bill got passed with the help of Cardinal Blase Cupich, who said he is grateful for lawmakers' work.

Cardinal Cupich celebrated Mass and then dedicated the new Mary of Mt. Carmel garden at Carmel High School in Mundelein Wednesday. But he was also celebrating the new education funding bill that could end up helping the Archdiocese, which has had to close many schools in recent years.

"I think it will have an impact, a positive impact, but of course there are schools of other denominations, there are Jewish schools, there are other private schools as well, and this is about families and about children," he said.

The $75 million tuition tax credit program would be funded by private donations and is expected to provide scholarships to about 6,000 students around the state.
continue at ABC 
The governor vetoed the original legislation, calling it a bailout of Chicago Public Schools, which he has long criticized as financially mismanaged. Lawmakers largely ignored Rauner’s veto, which included amendments to the bill. Instead, they focused on securing a union-opposed, $75 million private scholarship fund — a pilot for five years — as part of the deal. Cardinal Blase Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, lobbied heavily for the private program, which would allow individuals and corporations to earn tax credits for donating to a scholarship fund that benefits eligible families who send their children to private schools.

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