Leaders of the state’s top education employee unions have joined with school administrators to urge members of the Illinois legislature to pass the governor’s recommended budget.
The Illinois Education Association (IEA), the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) and the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance are backing the governor’s plan, which calls for keeping the state’s individual income tax rate at its current level of 5 percent.
Maintaining the current tax rate would allow the state to reach the highest funding levels for education in Illinois history, including an increase in Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants for college students in need and a $100 million increase in funding for early childhood education.
While this increased funding alone is a good start, extending the income tax rate would allow the General Assembly to fully fund General State Aid for education.
“The governor’s plan protects schools from devastating budget cuts that would result in thousands of teacher layoffs, overcrowded classrooms and program cuts that hurt children everywhere,” said IEA President Cinda Klickna. “To get Illinois back on track, legislators need to support our schools by passing the governor’s plan.”
“We often talk in abstract terms about doing what’s right for our kids, but this week, legislators have a concrete opportunity to do just that when Governor Quinn’s recommended budget proposal comes before them. The Illinois Federation of Teachers strongly supports this plan to increase funding for our students from their first day of school through their last day of college,” said IFT President Dan Montgomery. “No one wants to see more radical cuts to education, but that’s what we face if we don’t address our serious challenges with serious investment in a solution.”
According to school administrators, the recommended budget is necessary to stabilize school districts across the state.
“Many of our schools are heavily dependent on state aid, and they are struggling financially to continue to provide top-notch educational opportunities for children all across the state,” said IASA Executive Director Brent Clark, speaking for the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance, which includes the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), the Illinois Principals Association (IPA) and the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO).
“All over the state, schools are being forced to cut music, art, extracurricular activities and reduce teachers and staff. There is nowhere left to cut but in the core educational programs. Without this recommended budget, nearly all school districts in this state would suffer even more, and the situation for many school districts in Illinois could be catastrophic. Investing in the education of our children is the best investment Illinois could make for the future of this state,” Clark said.
The Illinois Education Association is made up of more than 130,000 education employees, retired educators and students planning to become teachers. Find out more about IEA atwww.ieanea.org.
The Illinois Federation of Teachers is made up of more than 100,000 teachers and staff in PreK-12 school districts, higher education professionals, public employees and retirees throughout Illinois.
Illinois Association of School Administrators is the premier statewide organization representing school administrators. IASA policies are guided by its vision statement “Maximum Educational Success for All Students.” Find out more about IASA at www.iasaedu.org.
Illinois Association of School Boards is a voluntary organization of local boards of education dedicated to strengthening public schools through local citizen control. The mission of IASB is excellence in local school governance in support of quality public education. Find out more about IASB at www.iasb.com.
The Illinois Principals Association represents more than 4,700 principals, assistance principals and building leaders. The mission of the IPA is to advance learning through effective educational leadership. Find out more about IPA at www.Ilprincipals.org.
Illinois Association of School Business Officials is devoted to the school business management profession. IASBO’s mission is to provide members and stakeholders with a comprehensive range of professional development activities and services through networking and participation. Find out more about IASBO at www.iasbo.org.