Priorities vs. Realities

Equitable Funding | 07/08/2016

Joy Murphy
Field Organizer

With strong ties to the Roseland & Englewood communities, Joy dedicates her time to issues that matter most to her.

Spending on education and spending on corrections. The two couldn’t be much different, but many folks would agree that education spending should be a priority to prepare children for a successful life.

Yet, between 1980 and 2013, spending on education grew by 107%. Spending on corrections during that same time grew by a whopping 324%. Talk about balancing our priorities.

These numbers come from data released by the U.S. Department of Education yesterday. The trends, as noted by Education Secretary John King, are “heartbreaking.”

“One proven way to reduce crime and incarceration rates and their related costs is by investing in proven strategies to keep students in school, make sure they graduate, and are ready to succeed after high school,” he wrote.

These numbers are particularly relevant here in Illinois. Our state spends $88,000 per year per child on incarceration. At the same time, we spend on average only $12,500 per year per child on education. If that doesn’t show how broken our system is, I’m not sure what else will.

After reading Secretary King’s article, head over to Our Students Our Future Illinois and add your name to the growing list of Illinoisans who support fair school funding. This fight will continue, and I hope you’ll be a part of our team.

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