SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) issued the following statement after voting to fully fund early childhood and K-12 education in Illinois, while establishing parity for the students of Chicago:
I am pleased that the Senate has approved a budget that fully funds our schools, allowing them to open on time this fall and steering equity grants to the districts where students are most in need. Additionally, House Bill 2990 levels the playing field so that the state contributes to Chicago educators’ pensions, as it currently does for every other district in the state. Chicago’s children deserve fair treatment, and I’m proud to join my colleagues in voting for parity. I urge the House to consider and pass this measure as soon as possible.
The governor has asked for a stand-alone education budget, and we seek to meet his request tonight while also reminding him that measures releasing resources for human services and higher education also sit on his desk, awaiting his signature. A moral budget will fund our classrooms but also give aid to our elderly, those with disabilities, those with mental illnesses, the homeless and working families struggling to make ends meet. It will assist low-income women in obtaining treatment for breast and cervical cancer. And it will keep youth off our streets and in educational, recreational and employment programs during a summer that is already off to a horrifically violent start.
I call on the governor to follow through on his recent commitment to work with all of our state’s elected officials to pass a complete budget that funds essential services and does not harm workers, families or the most vulnerable under the guise of reform.