August 31, 2017

Educators for Excellence-Chicago Applauds the Passage of School Funding Reform Bill SB1947

August 31, 2017 (Chicago, Illinois) - Educators for Excellence-Chicago, a teacher-led organization, today applauded the passage of SB1947, a bipartisan compromise bill that creates an evidence-based school funding formula to equitably distribute education dollars based on student need and districts’ ability to pay. E4E-Chicago teacher member Tolu Solola and E4E-Chicago Executive Director Acasia Wilson Feinberg released the following statement lauding the passage of this landmark legislation but also expressing disappointment that the compromise includes a scholarship and tax-credit program that will send public money to private schools.

Tolu Solola, a middle school math and science teacher at Frazier International Magnet School and E4E-Chicago member, applauded the Senate and House members who voted for the bill saying, “Illinois’ outdated formula was ranked worst in the nation for egregious funding gaps between affluent and low-income students. But thanks to the bipartisan efforts of our legislators, the students in my classroom in Chicago will finally have access to many of the resources and supports that students in wealthier districts enjoy across the state. With the passage of SB1947, every student in Illinois will know what it feels like to be educated in a society where their future is valued and supported.”

“While we denounce the inclusion of a program that will use public funds to pay for private education, we are happy that state legislators came together to enact legislation that will not only allow all Illinois schools to keep their doors open this fall but will also end decades of inequitable school funding in our state,” said Acasia Wilson Feinberg, Executive Director of E4E-Chicago. “We are thankful that our state funding formula will now create opportunity for all our students, regardless of where they live.”

E4E-Chicago teachers have been advocating for school funding reform since 2015, hosting a school funding panel discussion with education stakeholders and elected officials, meeting with state legislators, publishing op-eds in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times and canvassing in neighboring districts.