Catholic Education Foundation assists local families in need

As a result of the Illinois General Assembly not extending the Invest in Kids Scholarship Tax credit program, on Saturday, January 20, 2024, the Catholic Education Foundation Board of the Diocese of Joliet unanimously approved a $1 million one-time expenditure from its endowment. This allocation is being made to offset the $7 million loss in Invest in Kids scholarships families in the diocese received last year. This $1 million one-time expenditure from the Foundation provides additional financial assistance for the upcoming 2024–2025 school year for kindergarten through eighth-grade students attending Catholic schools in the Diocese of Joliet. The Foundation is helping to cushion the blow to those families who previously received 100 percent funding through Invest in Kids.

The Catholic Education Foundation Board is responsible for fostering a sustained and healthy foundation so that future generations of children can obtain a Catholic education rooted in the teaching of Jesus Christ. This $1 million expenditure is being allocated despite tremendous risk to the longevity of the endowment, but withdrawing funds now to assist these students is a triage to the damage caused by the failure of the state leaders to extend Invest in Kids. It is the right thing to do in this emergency situation.

“As we in the Diocese of Joliet navigate this new challenge, the Catholic Education Foundation is committed to walking alongside our students, families, and school partners. To help replenish this $1 million emergency expenditure, we are raising our annual campaign goal by an additional $1 million. Sadly, even with the additional generous infusion of financial aid approved by the Board of Directors, the Foundation cannot match the financial assistance of Invest in Kids and many families may still have to leave their best-fit school,” said Jennifer Georgis, Executive Director of the Catholic Education Foundation. “This Band-Aid approach is not sustainable. We urge the Illinois General Assembly to reconsider its stance and renew the Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship program this session.”

Those interested in making a donation to the Catholic Education Foundation can visit the website cefjoliet.org or contact Jennifer Georgis, (815) 221-6131, [email protected].