“Don’t tell me what you value,” Vice President Joe Biden has said. “Show me your budget, and I will tell you what you value.”
No matter what your political affiliation may be, or how you may feel about the results of this week’s election, it is worth thinking about these words.
Show me your budget, and I will tell you what you value.
On June 30 of this year, just before the current Illinois fiscal year was about to begin, Springfield passed two budgets: a six-month budget that ends on New Year’s Eve and a one-year education budget that ends this coming summer.
And there is more to be done. Illinois still has the most unfair and inequitable school funding system in the country. That needs to change. Illinois still has a regressive teacher pension surcharge that hits our poorest schools hardest. That needs to change.
The budgets were lifelines which allowed the state to get through the Election, but they were hardly enough to alleviate the inequities in our school system and the ridiculously uncertain environment facing public institutions, social service providers, schools, and the families they serve.
Election season is over. Now is the time for our leaders to come up with bipartisan budget agreements that reflect the best values of Illinois. Let’s get back to work.