Illinois Governor JB Pritzker gave his budget address and it has no new funding for public schools.
Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery:
“When it comes to funding education, the Governor has done the best he can with the dire fiscal hand he has been dealt by COVID and the millionaire-led effort to prevent fair taxation in our state. When Illinois adopted the Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) plan, we all hoped education dollars would flow to our neediest communities and the state’s share of education funding would steadily increase. Yet Illinois remains near the bottom of the country in equitable education funding, and for the second year in a row, it will not be increased. And higher education is still suffering from decades-long disinvestment.
Illinois Education Association President Kathi Griffin:
“We appreciate that the governor is willing to look at a variety of ways to continue the state’s funding obligations by closing tax loopholes rather than increasing taxes on all struggling families and we urge state government to continue to look for more funding resources. Our state legislature made a brave decision in 2017 and changed the formula for funding education in Illinois. Part of that change included boosting education funding by at least $350 million a year for 10 years to try to get the state up to 80 percent of its base funding level required by our state’s constitution – 80 percent – and to try to give Illinoisans property tax relief. And, while we understand there was an economic downturn that caused flat funding last year and a worldwide pandemic this year that caused fiscal challenges, we can’t move forward if we keep holding ourselves back. Funding the formula needs to be high on the list for any new revenue, as does increasing funding for higher education. We hold out hope that as vaccinations increase and cases decrease, the economic outlook for Illinois can continue to improve and education can be funded to the fullest extent.”
In my view there is just too much understanding on the part of the state union officials and too little action on the part of the governor.
IFT and IEA leadership should be demanding promised public school funding and demanding that the governor find the revenue to support it.
Everyone talks about the urgency of getting schools safely open as if wishing makes it so.