Could school choice really be coming to Illinois this year? That was the question on many people’s minds earlier this week at the Pirchei Center. On Tuesday morning, nearly 30 Jewish school leaders, representing 11 schools of Chicago’s Associated Talmud Torah (ATT), filled the Agudah building for a lavish hot breakfast. The goal of the event, co-sponsored by Agudath Israel of Illinois and ATT, was to unveil the new statewide scholarship tax credit effort to the school leaders.
Myles Mendoza, executive director of EdChoice Illinois, outlined the legislative goals and the policies contained in the proposed bill. He then described the growing bipartisan coalition forming across the state and asked the schools to join in that effort. A scholarship tax credit program would potentially allow thousands of low and middle-income families to afford a private school of their choice.
Rabbi A. D. Motzen, Agudath Israel of America’s national director of state relations, then shared his experience with similar programs in other states and how they have helped hundreds of families.
Mr. Mendoza and Rabbi Motzen remained to answer questions about how a scholarship program could affect the Jewish community and what steps school leaders can take to assist this effort. The attendees left the meeting excited about joining the rapidly-growing grassroots campaign.