Initiative expands financial options to support apprenticeships, K-12 tuition

03232021HAO0659SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) has advanced an initiative to allow families to use funds from qualified tuition plans to cover the cost of K-12 tuition and apprenticeship supplies, bringing Illinois on par with neighboring states.

“Twenty-two states—including several of our bordering states like Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin—consider K-12 tuition and apprenticeship costs eligible expenses under qualified tuition plans,” Crowe said. “This initiative builds on Illinois’ commitment to give students the best opportunities by helping families afford K-12 education and job training.”

Qualified tuition plans, also known as 529’s, are tax-advantaged savings plans sponsored by states, agencies or institutions to encourage families to save for future education costs.

These plans allow residents to open an investment account to save for future qualified higher education expenses, like tuition, mandatory fees, or room and board.

The proposed plan expands the list of expenses that can be covered using 529 funds.

Under Crowe’s legislation, families could use these funds to pay for enrollment at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school, as well as fees, books, supplies and equipment required for apprenticeship programs.

“Access to a quality education is vital for student prosperity,” Crowe said. “Illinois must get up to par with our neighboring states in making this option available to families.”

Senate Bill 558 passed the Senate State Government Committee Wednesday and now moves for further consideration before the full Senate.

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