As part of the mission of our Church, we are called to educate our children in our beautiful Catholic faith. To do this, it takes all of us. Those that have small children, grown children, grandchildren and those that don't have any children. We are all responsible for their Catholic Education.
We know giving a child a Catholic Education is a sacrifice for families and our church communities. We know have a new and exciting opportunity here in the State of Illinois.
Earlier this fall, the State of Illinois passed the Invest in Kids Act. This legislation outlined the state's program to fund public schools, but it also created the tax scholarship program. The tax scholarship program is designed to give all families, regardless of income, access to choices in education...including Catholic Schools.
The new law has allowed for private, non-profit organizations to accept donations and give out private scholarships to students in grades K-12 based on income. Our Diocese has chosen to partner with Empower Illinois.
Students can receive scholarships of 50, 75 or 100% of tuition and necessary fees based on income. That means that the tuition, book fees, technology and even uniforms will be covered partially or completely by the scholarship. A chart with qualifying incomes is available (online, at the school office and at the church office) If you or someone you know would qualify, please encourage them to apply.
However, for the scholarship to be available to students, we also need your help. This is not a state funded program. This program will be funded completely by donations. Donations can be made on the corporate level or as an individual. No amount is too small.
As an incentive, the State has agreed to give a 75% tax credit for the amount of the donation up to $1 million dollars. For example: A person donates $1000 to the program. In return they receive a $750 tax credit on their State income taxes. So their $1000 donation really cost them $250.
Individuals can direct their donations to a specific school or subset of school. If you decided to donate, we ask that you specify (St. Anne School) or the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Rockford. This way we can help the families right here in our community give their children the blessing of a Catholic Education.
The applications for donations are going to begin on January 2nd.
In order to apply there are some steps that have to be taken ahead of time, so please review this information at the Empower Illinois website, www.empowerillinois.org
The application process date has changed and will now begin on January 31st at 12 PM (noon). (Not January 24th as was previously reported). The scholarships will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.