Illinois K-12 Private School Tax Break Proposed

Feb 7, 2018

Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard) unveils his 529 reform proposal at a press conference on Feb. 6
Credit Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Illinois families could use their college savings plans to send their younger kids to K-12 private schools under a new plan.


Representative Peter Breen, a Republican from Lombard, wants to add private school tuition as a “qualifying expense” for Illinois’ savings accounts, called 529 plans. That would mean families could pay for up to ten thousand dollars worth of private school expenses--without having to pay the tax penalty Illinois now enforces.

Breen says the state should follow the lead of the federal government, which now allows for private school tuition.

“Why would you stop Illinois parents from using their own money for however they see fit? It’s a much better policy, and just a simpler, easier policy, to just change our Illinois plan to allow those parents maximum flexibility,” he said.

Breen’s proposal would be on top of the tax credits Illinois now offers to people who donate to private school scholarships.​