Wheeling, Waukegan, Beach Park, Zion-Benton, Round Lake students to be eligible for private school scholarships in new state program
A new public school funding bill recently passed by the Illinois Legislature and signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, SB1947, includes a scholarship program that awards donated funds to students in lower-income families – up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level – to provide them the opportunity to attend private schools.
A provision within the bill allows for scholarship eligibility to students in select “focus districts” in the state, including several in Lake County.
In Lake County, students who meet income criteria in the following school districts are eligible for the scholarships:
• Wheeling Community Consolidated School District 21
• Waukegan Community Unit School District 60
• Beach Park Community Consolidated School District 3
• Zion-Benton Township High School District 126
• Round Lake Community Unit School District 116
A breakdown from the Illinois Policy Institute reveals the criteria for eligibility: A district must include at least one school ranking in the bottom 10 percent in terms of student performance or a school with a graduation rate of less than 60 percent.