Fully funding education at all levels in Illinois must be a top priority for all of us. Educating our children is an investment in our community’s future, and it is one of the most important investments we as taxpayers can make.
We are very fortunate to have many highly rated schools on our neighborhoods, but the future funding for these schools is in jeopardy. While the current debate in Springfield revolves around the very complicated task of creating an equitable funding formula for all school districts in the state, other important changes can and are being made right now.
First, one thing is abundantly clear: claims that there were no expense cuts to be made have proven to be unfounded. For example, while it took a crisis of its own making to do so, the Chicago Board of Education recently slashed its spending on the internal bureaucracy of its offices. Though I would have preferred that the board use a scalpel instead of a hatchet to make these cuts, the schools are, in fact, still running. Following these cuts, more than a few school principals managed to find extra money in their own budgets to pay necessary expenses -- money that had been stashed away as a result of overfunding in previous years.
Second, by taking a fair and reasonable approach to funding future teachers’ pension benefits in a manner consistent with that of the vast majority of workers in the private sector, we would secure a tremendous amount of additional capital with which to fund education, all without relying on yet another property tax increase.
Third, combining these strategies with other policies I have proposed would make Illinois a more attractive place to start or relocate a business. In doing so, we would grow our tax base and eventually have even more funds to provide our schools with the funding they need to sustain and enhance education in this state.
In short, with these changes in place, we can do much more than simply support our schools as they are now; we can improve our schools to provide the world-class education our children and our great city deserve.
“I believe that we, regardless of party, can do that which I have helped my clients do for themselves: become financially stable. I invite you to read on to see some of the solutions that I am proposing to make this a reality, and to solve Illinois’s financial crisis for all of us.”
PAID FOR BY COMMITTEE TO ELECT GARY MANDELL. A COPY OF OUR REPORT FILED WITH THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS IS (OR WILL BE) AVAILABLE ON THE BOARD’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE http://www.elections.il.gov OR FOR PURCHASE FROM THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS, SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS.