Geographic Disproportionality in the First Year of Illinois’s Tax-Credit Scholarship Program
By Drew Catt, Michael Shaw
This study examines the first year of participation in Illinois’s tax-credit scholarship program, during the 2018–19 academic year, and looks at equitable access to the participating schools through the lens of geospatial analysis. The study seeks to answer: How does the statutorily required geographic distribution of tax credits distributed compare to the geographic distribution of students and schools participating in Illinois’s school choice program in its first year? Which groups or regions do not have reasonable access to the private schools participating in Illinois’s school choice program?
In examining participation and the scheme through which funds were geographically apportioned, this study sheds light on how school choice programs can be created to disincentivize market saturation in a single area or multiple areas of a state, thereby reducing potential for educational access inequality.