The Illinois Senate on Tuesday passed a school funding plan that revamps the way schools are funded, but also implements a temporary voucher program and allows districts to ask for fewer physical education classes and hire outside companies for drivers education classes.

The bill passed on a 38-13 vote. It will now go to the desk of Gov. Bruce Rauner for his approval. The bill struggled a bit more in the House the night before — first failing to pass, prompting Representatives to vote on an override of Rauner’s amendatory veto of the original school funding proposal of Senate Bill 1, a vote which also failed. And, then finally passed upon a reconsideration.

IEA President Kathi Griffin urged Rauner not to sign the bill because it takes money away from public education and gives it to wealthy tax donors through a personal tax break in the same bill that finally provides fair funding to Illinois schools — and there is no funding set aside for this voucher program.

“In addition, provisions in this bill that allow districts to outsource drivers education programs and cut back physical education classes hurt students and their families,” Griffin said. “The IEA will be working to educate communities and families on how to minimize the negative impact these provisions could have on their communities.”

Please see more in the video below.


  1. Moving kids out of public education to private driver education will result in more teen lives lost. It will limit the ability of moderate or low-income families to put their kids in driver education as the private companies raise their fees. In addition, allowing kids to waiver out of PE or reducing the daily requirement will negatively impact the health of our young people. It just won’t matter though because the administrators and outside influences that are behind this don’t care about these statistics, just the $$$!

  2. Reducing and cutting drivers education is simply appalling! I have not seen any statistics to show that these two programs hurt or hinder our students – what I have seen is only how they benefit the student population, the family and our community !

  3. Cutiing driver ed programs and allowing outside vendors to do it is a HUGE mistake; by requiring driver ed to be taught by college certified driver educators and controlling the cost, it forces private vendors to improve their programs and compete at lower fees… with this bill, not only are those certified staff people losing their jobs and not teaching, but it allows the private vendors to be about the “money grab” and barely teach in order to get more customers and will also inflate their fees heavily like vendors in other states have done. For the longest time Illinois has been the premier example of delivering high level safety and driver education instruction; now it’s all for moot…

    This and the reduction in PE is an absolute insult and tragedy for Illinois students and their families…

  4. Eliminating or reducing PE and driver’s education is the worst possible decision. Fight to keep every day PE in our schools!

  5. Physical education is a necessity for our children. We as a whole should be setting an example for our children so that they live a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritional meals & exercising daily. You are only hurting the future of our state. We could save a lot of money, in which our public schools could use, by slashing the salaries of our politicians who vote in these horrible decisions. Thanks For Hurting Our Future!!!!

  6. Isn’t it up to the discretion of the individual school district if they eliminate P.E. or drivers education? The state is not forcing it upon the individual school districts, is that correct?

  7. Do the right thing!!! The rich have more than enough. Public Education needs the funding.

  8. Child obesity is at a high because they already cut physical education in school years ago. Cutting any school budget is only going to hurt our children.

  9. If you’re going to give vouchers to private schools, they should be held to the same assessments and standards public schools have. Their teachers should also have to go through the same evaluation process public school teachers need to through.

  10. Why in the world they would get rid of PE is crazy!! The ONLY physical activity these kids get in a day! Isn’t our society getting fat enough!!! Come on, smarten up Illinois!!!

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