The decades-long chronic underfunding of Illinois public schools has resulted in a failed school funding system that does remarkable damage to Illinois’ schools, educators, students and property taxpayers. How we fund schools requires a complete overhaul.
Currently, Illinois is the fourth worst state for funding schools, forcing local schools to rely heavily on property taxes to fund operations. As a result of this system, kids from different parts of the state are forced to compete against each other for scarce resources, with the wealthiest often receiving the most funding; teachers being forced to dig into their own pockets to buy classroom supplies; and administrators left with no other options but to cut from areas critical to student development.
That is why I support Senate Bill 1, which makes sure schools serving low-income communities receive the resources they desperately require, while also increasing funding to each of Illinois’ public school districts.
However, Gov. Rauner wants to play politics and veto this increase to school funding, which would help ensure public schools are able to open in a few weeks. Gov. Rauner doesn’t understand that kids aren’t going to be able to succeed when our schools are short-changed. I urge the Governor to sign Senate Bill 1, as it invests in children, invests in teachers and invests in communities in order to give our kids every opportunity to succeed.