In 2017 the state of Illinois enacted the Invest in Kids Scholarship Tax Credit. If you haven't heard of it before, you need to learn about it now because this program can help YOU as an Illinois taxpayer (even if you do not have children in our school), our school families, and even our school!
If you wish, you can download a PDF that briefly answers some of the big questions about the program. Here's why you need to learn more about this TODAY.
This is Good News for Taxpayers!
By contributing to an Illinois approved Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO), Illinois taxpayers receive a 75% income tax credit on their contribution. So if your yearly state income tax is $750 and you contribute $1000 to an approved SGO, your state income tax for that year will be $0 ($750 due is cancelled out by 75% of your $1000 contribution). Come tax season, if the state had already collected money from you through your paycheck, you can look forward to getting it back! More questions are answered here.
This is Good News for our School Families!
If you have a student at St. Paul's Lutheran School, this is REALLY good news for you. The Invest in Kids Scholarship Tax Credit was created to help all kids have the opportunity to attend schools, even if doing so is a financial burden to families. Each year families can apply to receive a scholarship through this program. This money will be paid to the school as part of your yearly tuition payments and thus ease the burden on your own pocketbooks. This program has very specific guidelines so that the money goes first toward those students who are in most financial need. Very specifically, eligible students are members of a household whose federal adjusted gross income the year before he or she initially receives a scholarship with this program does not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level (see chart). Simply applying for the scholarship does not, however, guarantee that you will receive money. St. Paul's Lutheran School has no control over who gets money. The money that is available must first be contributed by taxpayers. So if no taxpayers contribute to the SGOs and desginate St. Paul's Lutheran School, even if someone applies for this scholarship, no one would get any money, because the piggybank is empty.
This is Good News for our School!
At St. Paul's Lutheran School we charge tuition in order to pay staff, maintain our property, and provide excellent opportunities for children to learn and grow. We realize that choosing to send children to St. Paul's can entail great sacrifice on the part of parents, but parents choose to send their children to St. Paul's because they believe this Christ-centered school is the best place for their kids. We don't want finances to be a reason parents can't choose St. Paul's. Thus we have money set aside each year that we can use for financial assistance to families that apply for it. The Invest in Kids Scholarship Tax Credit is a benefit to our school because it provides another scholarship source to which we can direct families who want to send their children here, but aren't sure if they can afford it. If as a taxpayer in Illinois, you contribute to this program, you help make it possible for even more families to send their children to St. Paul's to receive the Christ-centered education that we offer. The way this happens is that when you contribute to an SGO, you can designate that money to go to a specific non-public school (e.g. St. Paul's Lutheran School) in a specific region (or zone) in Illinois. Contributors cannot designate money to specific students as scholarship recipients, but by designating their contributions to St. Paul's Lutheran School, it fills up the "piggybank," so to speak, of monies that are available for St. Paul's school families to apply for and receive.
So by participating in this program, taxpayers, school families and our school all come out ahead! That's a most wonderful gift to us all!
Now you're ready for the next steps!
If you are an Illinois taxpayer and want to contribute to an SGO to help St. Paul's, click here for more information.
- As you contribute, please note that St. Paul's Lutheran School is in Zone 3
If you are a St. Paul's school family and want to apply for the Invest in Kids Scholarship, please apply through Empower Illinois.
And in cases like these, if you have specific questions about your own tax scenarios, please talk to your professional tax preparers!