"The Bright Start program has suffered, not just from a bear market, but the poor decision of Illinois officials in the core. Plus, the program has lost $85 million or a 36 percent loss in that account," said Kirk, who represents the northern suburbs.
Kirk is running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.
State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is running for the Democratic nomination. His office is defending the Bright Start program, saying it took bright start from one of the worst 529 programs in the country to one of the best three, according to Money magazine.