Standing Firm for a Fair Funding Formula

You may have recently received this flyer from a group called "Stand for Children" in your mail. If you have been keeping up with my posts about my involvement with and support for education funding reform, you will also know that of all the bogus and misleading flyers sent out against me over the past few years, this is one of the most laughable.

The items in the blue box on the flyer are fairly straightforward and for the most part I actually agree with them. But what Stand for Children is not telling you is that they, along with numerous other "advocacy groups" pressuring legislators are in the tank for Chicago Public Schools. The school funding model in SB1 as originally drafted needed some work but we thought we were reaching some reasonable agreements until the final amendment - House Floor Amendment 2 - loaded up what was a real opportunity for reform with hundreds of millions of dollars in funds for Chicago that no other school district gets. And it bakes them into the model now and forever.

This is basically stealing. Chicago Public Schools is stealing funding from the very needy children in my district and others around the state, to finance their years of mismanagement. Yes, with the funding allocated in the final budget deal, my school districts will see more new funding which is great for this year. But it's not nearly as much as they would get under another funding bill I support, SB1124. Supporting the formula as currently written with CPS goodies in it jeopardizes new funding in future years too as they will gobble up the majority of new dollars.

Because many of us are standing our ground for a fair funding formula, we are now being threatened with schools not opening on time this fall by the Chicago bullies. If they would simply agree to remove the three problem provisions from the bill, the Governor would sign it. It is Chicago and the Chicago Public School advocates, many of which are staffed by former Chicago Public school employees, who are holding this up and jeopardize schools opening. I urge you to call Stand for Children's Chicago office at 312-626-2596 and demand that they support SB1124 (which removes the Chicago perks), allow the schools to open on time this fall and give our children ALL of the funds they deserve.

Let me make this very clear, Stand for Children and all other "advocates" - I spent a year working on an equitable school funding model and I am Standing for the Children in my district to get the funding that they deserve through a FAIR model, both in the coming year and in future years. This is why I voted no and why I'll continue to advocate negotiations to fix this.

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