This fall, as students head back to school, millions in taxpayer dollars are being diverted to private schools for the first time ever in Illinois.
Last summer, Illinois lawmakers ended a years-long budget impasse after being faced with the daunting prospect that public schools across the state might not open. They passed a sweeping overhaul of public school funding after years of debating the issue.
But at the eleventh hour, they also added a massive school choice program with virtually no debate or public vetting. WBEZ’s Linda Lutton explains how this happened and what we know so far.
Each week at On Background, WBEZ’s team of political reporters brings you the backstory on the week’s big story. Host Becky Vevea and guests take you inside the back rooms of Chicago and Illinois government to better understand the people, places and forces shaping today’s politics. Find more episodes and where to subscribe here.