Illinois Has a Rare Opportunity and Here’s One Last Chance for You to Weigh In

This is an amazing moment for educational equity in Illinois. After decades of suffering under the most inequitable method of funding schools in the country, our state legislature has come together to support a new system that would send state money to the poorest districts first. But they aren’t quite over the finish line yet. The governor and some downstate elected officials have complained that the new method passed by the legislature gives Chicago schools special treatment. Advocates respond that in fact, the new formula treats all schools fairly and adequately, and recognizes that Chicago is the only district in Illinois that must manage all its pension costs without any state support. There’s a flurry of activity to try to manage the conflict before the legislative session ends, with new ideas being floated at the last minute.

While Adults Bicker, Kids Are Waiting for Equity

Right now, only 20 percent of Illinois school districts are adequately funded. In most states, it’s more like half. The needs of kids are waiting while adults bicker over details and ideology.

For everyone who cares about educational justice in Illinois, this week is a crucial one to learn more about the issues. The Funding Illinois’ Future coalition will be holding town halls all week to give parents, students, district leaders and community members across Illinois the change to speak their minds about how to ensure that all students get the resources they need to reach their full potential. Town Halls are being held across the state this week: Illinoisans, don’t miss these opportunities to speak your mind on how our state can best address its funding inequities.
Maureen Kelleher
Maureen Kelleher is Editorial Partner at Ed Post. She is a veteran education reporter, a former high school English teacher, and also the proud mom of an elementary student in Chicago Public Schools. Her work has been published across the education world, from Education Week to the Center for American Progress. Between 1998 and 2006 she was an associate editor at Catalyst Chicago, the go-to ...

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