The last few months have been trying for Catholic school children in the state of Illinois and in the Diocese of Joliet.
Last week it was announced that Catholic schools in Joliet and Glendale Heights will close or be restructured, leaving families grieving. This comes on the heels of the Illinois legislature letting the Invest in Kids scholarship tax credit program end without it even being called for a vote.
But there is a light in the darkness. The Catholic Education Foundation Board has taken the bold step to secure the future of Catholic education in the Diocese of Joliet by approving a $1 million, one-time expenditure from its endowment to help offset the loss of the Invest in Kids program. Funds will be used to provide additional financial assistance for the upcoming 2024-25 school year for Diocese of Joliet students currently in kindergarten through seventh grade.
“Our Catholic schools are more than brick and mortar, they are more than books and whiteboards,” said Jennifer Georgis, CEF Executive Director. “Our Catholic schools are where, together with families, our children encounter Christ, where students strengthen their knowledge and love of God to become more thoughtful and compassionate people.”
The CEF Board’s compassion is helping cushion the blow to families who previously received 100% funding through Invest in Kids.
“This $1 million expenditure is a tremendous risk to the longevity of the Catholic Education Foundation,” Georgis said. “Withdrawing funds now to assist these students is a triage to the damage caused by the failure of state leaders to extend Invest in Kids. It’s the right thing to do in this emergency situation. The Foundation is prepared to roll up its sleeves and assist our students, families, and school partners.”
To help replenish this emergency expenditure, the Catholic Education Foundation is boosting this year’s fundraising goal this year and welcomes all donations and support.
Catholic Education Foundation : 815.221.6127 : 16555 Weber Road : Crest Hill, IL 60403 : https://cefjoliet.org/