If I write about pension theft in Illinois someone inevitably will tell me that all I ever talk about is pensions and I’m selfish and I don’t care about the needs of others.
Of course, the current attack on pensions is not directed at folks like me who are already retired, but at current active state employees.
Damn, I can be such a jerk.
If I write about Senate Bill 1, a school funding bill that eliminates direct funding for students with special needs in Illinois, I get accused of talking crazy and besides, I don’t personally have kids in Chicago schools anymore and this is the only chance to get money for CPS and I am being selfish.
See how that works, I am such a jerk.
I am told that opposing SB1/HB2808 is crazy talk.
The thing is that SB1, now being considered in the Illinois House as HB 2808, is a bad bill that increases funding for some Illinois school districts at the expense of support for children with special needs and for special education students.
There I go again, being selfish.
Senate Bill 1 would provide funds for just one position for every 141 Pre-K children with disabilities.
It would provide for just one position for every 141 K-12 general education students including a special ed teacher OR speech/language OR social worker OR OT OR PT, says special education advocate Bev Johns.
Johns is another one those selfish people who has spent a career guarding the needs of children with special needs.
With some people it is always “me, me, me.”
As now amended, the bill will cut 10 percent of funds from the state’s poorest districts.
Even if $3 billion in new dollars were were added today, 220 school districts would be funded at 79 percent or less of adequacy, based on an Advance Illinois analysis.
Johns says we will be lucky to get $350 million, not billions added.
It has been noted that even if the maximum of $3 billion were added, most of the downstate districts would still miss their ‘adequacy targets’ by a mile.
The bill will end direct and dedicated funding for special education teachers statewide and will permit districts to spend those dollars on anything they want, leaving our most vulnerable children and families unserved.
That’s crazy talk.