This year marks the fifth year we have advocated for increased school funding through the evidence-based funding formula. You’ve been there with us every step of the way, and our collective advocacy has made a difference – this year, nearly $1.5 billion more has flowed through the equitable formula than when the formula was first enacted in 2017. And more importantly, it prioritizes funding for the school districts that need it most.
But closing the funding gap for Illinois schools is a marathon, not a sprint. Every year, we have to fight to keep the progress going. That’s why I offered testimony to an Illinois House committee yesterday, urging their support for $350 million in new funding. Despite all the investment we’ve made, 85% of Illinois students still attend schools that are underfunded.
We’ve got to do better for those students. Join me in urging policy makers to support an additional $350 million in evidence-based funding for our schools.
I also spoke in support of the Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship program. This work aims to attract and support teacher candidates of color to build up the state’s teacher pipeline with diverse and qualified candidates. Over half of Illinois’ student population are people of color, but teachers of color represent just 16% of teachers.
We need to support diverse educators through programs like the MTI Scholarships, and we need to support a boost in evidence-based funding for our classrooms. I hope you’ll take a minute of your busy day to contact Springfield and urge them to stand up for Illinois students and educators.