Empower Illinois, via the Invest in Kids Act which allows tax credit scholarships for eligible students, is still processing scholarship applications. We anticipated that with a massive new program such as this one, there would be challenges. We also shared with our principals at their regional meetings last month that there would be a great need for flexibility and patience, especially in regard to how Empower Illinois awarded the scholarships and the potential impact on our own diocesan Spalding Scholarship Fund awards.
Therefore, in order to not duplicate efforts or rescind Spalding awards, or to avoid unnecessary confusion and miscommunication, the Office of Catholic Schools will be notifying schools by June 30, 2018 which students will be receiving our diocesan Spalding Scholarship Fund award. This delay may undoubtedly create some apprehension with your school families who have applied for the Spalding Scholarship; however, we will hold fast to the June 30th notification deadline and hope that Empower Illinois will have their scholarships awarded and notifications sent to families by that date.
Thank you for your continuing cooperation and assistance. We have spoken to people who have received these tax credit scholarships in Florida and although they, too, stated that the first year is chaotic, the next years of the legislation have been smooth and fruitful for all eligible students. There is good that shall come from the Invest in Kids Act. Let’s continue to keep all of these efforts in our prayers.
Thank you. Sincerely, Dr. Sharon Weiss