IEA President: Governor needs to focus on budget

The governor has held the budget hostage for two years and he continues to push for changes in law that won’t solve the budget crisis but will inflict severe pain on working families throughout Illinois. While today’s address contained conciliatory words, we are still waiting to see action and leadership from Gov. Rauner.

Consider the education items he supports, being discussed at the Statehouse right now. A property tax freeze wouldn’t do a thing for the state budget, but it ties the hands of local school boards that are fighting to provide a quality education to children despite inadequate state support. The mandate changes being proposed will have zero impact on the budget but will hurt students by taking away physical education and reducing access to affordable driver’s education.

The good news is solutions are available to end the crisis that are fair to all. Illinois can get back on track by making sure millionaires, billionaires and big corporations start paying their fair share. That’s how we will fully fund all public education and make sure our state meets its obligations to all the people of Illinois.

The members of the Illinois Education Association remain ready to work with Gov. Rauner and the legislative leaders to come up with solutions that will benefit students and working families throughout Illinois.

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