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Local

Applications open for private school scholarship program

Matthew Apgar - mapgar@shawmedia.com
St. Mary's third-grade students Bella Rocush (left) and Colette Reedman watch the annual talent show for Catholic Schools week on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 at St. Mary Catholic School in DeKalb.
Matthew Apgar - mapgar@shawmedia.com St. Mary's third-grade students Bella Rocush (left) and Colette Reedman watch the annual talent show for Catholic Schools week on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 at St. Mary Catholic School in DeKalb.
DeKALB – Children and their families who would like to take advantage of private schools can apply for the Tax Credit Scholarship program starting Wednesday.
Through the Invest in Kids Act, enacted in 2017, children enrolled in or wishing to enroll in private schools receive scholarships covering 50 percent to 100 percent of the average cost to educate a student, or about $13,000, for the 2018-19 school year. Students with unique learning needs, including those who are gifted, English language learners, or those with special education qualifications could be eligible for more.
The applications are available on the Empower Illinois website, which lists all the required documents needed to apply and the household income levels that meet scholarship eligibility. Tax Credit Scholarships are need-based and do not take academic performance into consideration.
To help with the application process, Roseann Feldmann, principal of St. Mary School of DeKalb, said her school’s computer lab will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday. A staff member will also be on hand to assist both English- and Spanish-speaking families.
Since scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, Feldmann said it’s important to apply as soon as possible.
“It was our responsibility to get as much information to our families that are here and struggle financially,” Feldmann said. “But we would help anybody looking to get into our school.”
For information, visit the Empower Illinois website or email Feldmann at rfeldmann@stmaryschooldekalb.com.
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