Over the last few months, we’ve talked with you about Illinois’ “brain drain,” how we’re losing high school graduates to out-of-state schools and cheating those who stay in Illinois out of opportunities to achieve their full potential.
Well, I’m happy to say that earlier this week the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) passed its budget recommendation and aptly named it “Funding a Civil Right.” Maybe you noticed the biggest headline: ISBE voted to fully fund the new school funding formula. That’s awesome!
But that’s not all the good news. ISBE also recommended funding increases for critical career readiness programs that invest in our youth and help stop Illinois brain drain—including the first Career and Technical Education (CTE) increase since 2004. This move sets a strong marker for elected officials in budget negotiations this spring.
This move by ISBE is just the beginning of the process for boosting funding for the new formula, CTE courses and infrastructure, and a host of other programs and ideas we care about. We will need your support, both now and in the near future, to ensure this funding gets included in the state’s budget.
As we said in our Stop Illinois Brain Drain report, the demand for highly skilled workers is strong, and many of those jobs of the future are right here in Illinois. This boost in funding will help prepare students to succeed in our changing economy.
I look forward to standing with you to make sure that happens.