Protect lifelines for working families
The area’s steady increase in child poverty (“Belvidere School District’s poverty rate climbs for fourth straight year,” Aug. 26) is alarming. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The federal Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit lift nearly 5 million children out of poverty every year. Both bipartisan credits reward hard work. And both put money back into Illinois’ economy, helping parents buy food, clothes, and other basics from local merchants.
Yet both will expire in their current forms at the end of this year, and with elections just a few months away, politicians are focused elsewhere. Illinois leaders in Congress need to hear that they must protect these lifelines for working families. Their decisions will determine whether child poverty gets better or worse. And, for Rockford kids and America’s future, there is no more important choice.
Bruce Lesley, president, First Focus Campaign for Children