SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – At a time when Chicago students are denied educational opportunities available to wealthier suburban students located just a few miles away, state Rep. Juliana Stratton helped pass legislation that will provide $300 million in additional education funding for local students and create a fair, equitable system for providing more support to every public school in the state.
“Education is the next chapter in the civil rights movement,” said Stratton. “Yet while our current education funding system should create opportunity and equality, it sustains adversity and inequality by largely denying children of color the education funding they need to succeed.”
The Stratton-backed Senate Bill 1 would for the first time provide Chicago schools with equitable funding, by increasing state support by $300 million annually. Most importantly, the new formula sends more money to schools with a higher percentage of students in poverty, English language learners and special needs students. Senate Bill 1 accomplishes this without reducing funding for any school in the state.
Currently, the state of Illinois contributes the fourth lowest amount to education of any state, even though the Illinois constitution mandates the state serve as the primary funder of education. As a result, local communities have to make up the state’s short fall in education funding. This is easy for richer areas like Winnetka, but impossible for areas such as south and west Chicago.
“I call on the governor to have the courage to sign this historic education legislation into law,” Stratton continued. “Children on the south and west sides of Chicago deserve access to a quality education just like the children from the wealthy suburbs.”
Senate Bill 1 currently awaits approval from the governor.