Saving Chicago Students: Strike Vouchers and SOS Accounts

Published May 5, 2016

The Heartland Policy Brief examines why teachers are threatening to strike, the history of teacher strikes in Illinois, and the performance and financial challenges faced by students, their parents, and the taxpayers of Illinois. A three-part plan to save Chicago students is presented consisting of:

(a) “strike vouchers” – payments of $50 per student per day to organizations willing to open their doors to students locked out of public schools;

(b) “student opportunity scholarship (SOS) accounts” – parent-controlled savings accounts into which public funds raised for schools are deposited and from which disbursements to alternative education providers are allowed; and

(c) expansion of Illinois’ current individual education tax credit program by raising the maximum amount of the allowable credit and extending eligibility to include corporations and individuals who contribute to scholarship management organizations.