Checking in from Springfield. Legislators are back under the Capitol dome for a busy few days of veto session.
As I talk to legislators this week, I’ll be planting a seed, asking them to prioritize a real, sustainable plan to reach full school funding in the upcoming session. Will you join me in telling them to fully fund Illinois schools?
We all cheered when Illinois fixed its school funding system two years ago. The law also included a $350 million “Minimum Funding Level.” (That is, the legislature has a goal of investing at least $350 million per year – and it has met the goal every year so far.) But without greater investment in the new formula, we continue to leave 85% of Illinois’ students attending underfunded schools. The fact is that $350 million is not enough to overcome decades of under-funding and structural inequities.
At this rate of funding, a kindergarten student today will graduate high school before Illinois has a fully funded formula. The “Minimum Funding Level” isn’t nearly enough.
Full funding won’t happen overnight, but we must start laying the groundwork now. Illinois students can’t afford to wait any longer.