By Dr. Brent Clark
Executive Director, Illinois Association of School Administrators
I'm Dr. Brent Clark, Executive Director of the Illinois Association of School Administrators. This past Thursday, Illinois crossed a line that hasn't happened since the Great Depression. Since then, Illinois has been able to support its public schools. Now, our public schools are being held hostage due to a man-made crisis.
At issue: Senate Bill 1, the evidence based school funding formula which would level the school funding playing field from top to bottom will affect more than two million Illinois kids. Some of their schools won't have the money to stay open and could close without a swift resolution to the state's school funding crisis. The Senate is currently back in Springfield. If they override the Governor's amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, the House of Representatives will have 15 days to act or the bill will die.
This is a moment of historic proportions for our schools. We are on the cusp of a very major and productive policy change. Going back to the past school funding formula is not an option. We've come too far to turn around and re-embrace a failed system that punishes our neediest children. The longer this crisis goes on, the worse it will be for everyone, including our legislators. I cannot overstate this enough, we are at a critical moment in our state's history. This should not be a Republican or Democratic issue. We must insist that lawmakers either override the amendatory veto on Senate Bill 1, or quickly reach a reasonable compromise that protects our kids and our school districts. Please, call your state legislators. Tell them to end this crisis and support Illinois' schools.
I'm Dr. Brent Clark and that's my ViewPoint