(WTTW News)

Illinois signed a contract for $640,000 for a report that could help legislators determine the value of the state’s recently defunct private school scholarship program, but a lack of data makes its findings “inconclusive.”

School hallway file photo. (WTTW News)

The controversial program known as Invest In Kids took donations from people and businesses. It used that money to subsidize student tuition for low-income families at private and trade schools before expiring last year. Critics of the program say it takes away resources from the public schools the majority of state children attend. 

Kids with signs encouraging lawmakers to extend the Invest in Kids Act. (WTTW News)

Donors receive state income tax credits for their contributions to the Invest in Kids program, which helps some 9,600 students across Illinois attend private and trade schools. But barring last-minute legislative action, authorization for the program runs out at the end of 2023.

File photo of a student writing at a desk. (WTTW News)

Students at private schools across Illinois are at risk of losing their scholarships if state lawmakers don’t extend the Invest in Kids Act, which is slated to end Dec. 31.

Students at Chicago Public Schools walk along a hallway in this file photo. (WTTW News)

The Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship program offers tuition assistance for families who meet income thresholds. There are no merit components to eligibility.