Illinois lawmakers push for vouchers for private schools - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Illinois lawmakers push for vouchers for private schools

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McDowell spoke about a proposal to create tax credits so families can send their students to private school. McDowell spoke about a proposal to create tax credits so families can send their students to private school.
McDowell added that families at his school would be helped by the tax credit. McDowell added that families at his school would be helped by the tax credit.
Roy Webb said while he didn't have a problem with vouchers, he would prefer there be equal guidelines. Roy Webb said while he didn't have a problem with vouchers, he would prefer there be equal guidelines.
McDowell agreed that schools should follow the same parameters. McDowell agreed that schools should follow the same parameters.
Quincy Notre Dame has been working on an expansion project. Quincy Notre Dame has been working on an expansion project.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

As lawmakers continue to work on a funding formula, another component of the legislation could mean a change in where you send your child to school.

Work is currently underway at Quincy Notre Dame to add on more classrooms to the building. Meanwhile, Principal Mark McDowell said on Monday that in Springfield, lawmakers are discussing a project of their own.

"It has more momentum than it has in many years." McDowell said. "Unfortunately because of our state's financial situation things are perhaps a little less likely in some places, and more likely in others."

McDowell spoke about the push for a tax credit program that would allow residents with an income of less than $113,775 to receive money to send their children to private schools. Money that he said would help families at schools like his.

"If there were to be some relief, some kind of tax relief, some kind of different allocation as a part of Senate Bill 1 or whatever the case may be, Quincy Notre Dame, and the people that we serve would stand to benefit." McDowell said.

Meanwhile, at Quincy Public Schools, Superintendent Roy Webb said that while vouchers don't concern him, he wants schools receiving tax revenue to follow the same guidelines as their public counterparts. That includes things like, taking in every student regardless of any special needs.

"People want to bring competition to schools, and that's fine, and like I said, I'm happy to compete, as long as we're given that fair playing field." Webb said.

Accountability is something McDowell understands. He said with a sensitive subject matter like this one, following guidelines is important.

"Everybody has to know what the parameters are, and they have to be willing to live within those." McDowell said. "And if this is the mechanism for through which we allocate dollars, than you have to be willing to play by those rules.

The proposal is all a part of ongoing discussions over Senate Bill One, which Governor Rauner issued an amendatory veto for.

There's still no timetable for when a final decision will be made.

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