Illinois Education Association Statement on Gov. Pritzker FY24 Budget Address

IEA President Kathi Griffin looks forward to governor’s plans for preschool for all, $100 million increase in funding for higher education and solving the teacher shortage

SPRINGFIELD – The following statement on Gov. Pritzker’s FY24 budget address is attributable to Illinois Education Association (IEA) President Kathi Griffin:

“Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s budget address outlined programs that hold a lot of promise for students, and those who work with them, across the state of Illinois. The address increases funding for key programs, including: expanded preschool (Smart Start), a boost to evidence-based funding, money dedicated to help solve the teacher shortage, a $100 million increase in funding to higher education, increases to programs to help diversify the staff in schools in higher education institutions and a $100 million increase in grant funding to help pay for community college or university for those who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

IEA was pleased to see Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan to expand and extend preschool for Illinois’ youngest learners. Study after study has shown that the more children learn when they’re young, the more successful they are in school overall. The governor’s budget address today, which outlines his plan for expanding preschool, paying daycare and preschool workers more and funding building projects, bodes well for the youth of Illinois.

We were glad to see $350 million added to the Evidence-Based Funding Formula.  However, it is important to note, according to a fall 2022 report by the Partnership for Equity and Education Rights Illinois and the Education Law Center, four out of five public schools in Illinois remain underfunded. There were also increases in career and technical education funding, computer science education, special education and transportation. And, one of the more exciting announcements was that $70 million per year will be allocated in the next three years to boosting the teacher pipeline to the districts that account for about 80 percent of all vacancies.

Higher education also received good news with both increases to funding for low-income students and an overall increase of $100 million to institutions that haven’t seen an increase so large since 2002.

While the governor has proposed reduced funding for the TRIP/TRAIL insurance programs that serve our retired educators in this budget, we are confident the sound fiscal management of these programs for the past several years will allow it to serve our members for generations to come. In fact, IEA has introduced Senate Bill 1749 that would allow vision and dental coverage for our retired members. Additionally, the IEA is firm in our belief that the benefits offered to our members in TRIP/TRAIL are protected by the “Pension Protection Clause” of the Illinois Constitution.

It is important to remember that the governor’s budget address is only a starting point for conversation – an outline of his vision for the state. IEA will continue to work throughout this legislative session to ensure our members and the students they educate will receive the funding needed to help students thrive.”


At 135,000 members strong, the Illinois Education Association (IEA) is the largest union in Illinois. The IEA represents PreK-12 teachers outside the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty and support staff, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.

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