Random thoughts. The map of Illinois looks like a painting by Seurat.


The Washington Post broke the news this morning that the Sanders campaign claim that the average donor gave $27 is a lie.

It is actually $28.95.

Give that reporter a Pulitzer.

I’m thinking the story is probably tongue-in-cheek.

There is no doubt that Bernie’s campaign has raised tens of millions of dollars mostly from small donors, while Hillary has raised most of her campaign money from corporate and Wall Street multi-millionaires.

And while I agree with those who criticize the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court that ruled money is protected speech, Bernie’s campaign shows that progressive politics can compete with big money if we organize around ideas. Outlaw dark money and build a movement that includes running on progressive ideas.

A bill to change the language of the Illinois Constitution passed out of committee yesterday. It has to do with the inequality of school funding in the state.

NPR posted a map on the subject yesterday. 

The map of Illinois looks like a painting by Seurat. A land of little dots. The more dots in a state the greater the inequality or range of per-student spending is. Of course, there are some states that suffer the equality of inadequate funding. But that is not the case in Illinois. In our state the funding level is dependent on a child’s zip code. And skin color. We have very wealthy school districts. And shockingly poor ones.

The idea behind the language change is to make the state of Illinois mainly responsible for education funding and make our schools less dependent on local property taxes.

To really do this the state must do something else as well. It must change the regressive tax system in which millionaires and McDonald’s workers pay the same rate of income tax.

Without a progressive tax, among other revenue reforms, we too will have the equality of inadequate funding. Although rich parents will find a way to pay for their own. They always do.

The alternative is to do what Senator Manar is suggesting in his Senate Bill 1: Take the existing funding level and slice it up into different sized small pieces. More money would go downstate to struggling districts. More money would go to Chicago to help with the pension debt.

Without additional revenue Manar’s bill would be paid for by taking money from Special Education.

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