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CTU to IL House: Pass SB1 and end public school crisis in education funding

CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement this evening in the wake of the rejection by the Illinois House of a replacement bill for SB1, the education funding bill. That bill included a voucher poison pill that would have robbed public school districts of funds and given wealthy private school donors $375 million in tax breaks over the next five years.

CTU statement:

The Illinois General Assembly has made it very clear that they reject vouchers and costly tax shelters. We applaud their leadership and thank them for their courage.

This isn't a win. We won't be taking a premature victory lap. The CPS board of education just passed another flim-flam budget with phantom revenue that will result in cuts, layoffs and school closures. Let's make it clear: we need city and state revenue for our schools, and we need real leadership that puts the needs of our students front and center. That must be built on fair, adequate, sustainable sources of revenue for our schools.

For all of Illinois’ public schools, the clear solution to our woefully underfunded public schools has been to pass SB1. We call on the Illinois House to do what the Senate already has done, and override governor Rauner’s amendatory veto of that bill tonight. Only then can we begin to remedy decades of rock-bottom spending on the educations of our state’s public school students.

It is time for Governor Rauner to do his job and move out of the way of reforming the worst school funding formula in the nation. And it is time for Mayor Emanuel to do his job and provides us with a path forward that sustains and expands educational resources for our school district – a critical commitment if we are to enrich life in this city for all of our students. Our students do not need a double-down on more privatization failures – they need principled, responsible leadership that puts our young people first.

Chicago Teachers Union