What do we want? EQUITY! When do we want it? NOW!
That chant rang out loud and clear in the rotunda of the state Capitol yesterday as leaders from Stand and the coalition of Funding IL’s Future rallied for equitable state funding for public education. The rally filled the rotunda with advocates from across the state, among them legislators, teachers, administrators, students, and parents.
The rally was part of a coordinated effort to build support among state legislators for SB16, a bill now before the House that would modernize the state formula that determines how we fund our schools. Illinois has an outdated and unfair school funding system that produces greater disparities between rich and poor school districts than all but one other state in the country. SB16 would help fix that by directing over 90% of our education funds through a streamlined formula that is designed to make sure all children, no matter their ZIP code, have access to a high-quality public education that prepares them for college and career success.
Stand leaders also met with state legislators, telling their personal stories and urging support for SB16. Following those meetings, two Education Committees held a joint hearing to discuss the bill and hear from proponents and opponents of SB16. Michael Butz, a proud CPS parent and longtime Stand leader from Rogers Park, testified on behalf of Stand. He urged the legislature to pass SB16 and help students across the state in the process.