SPRINGFIELD – The following statement is attributable to Illinois Education Association (IEA) President Al Llorens:
“It is a new day in Illinois. We are incredibly grateful to our lawmakers for choosing to end the voucher scheme known as Invest in Kids. This program sent millions of taxpayer dollars to private schools and was created under the guise of helping students of color, but we now know the funds went primarily to white students.
The voucher system was intentionally created with a lack of oversight and accountability, leaving us with no data to measure its effectiveness. Public money belongs in public schools and we are glad our lawmakers believe that, too. Eighty percent of our public schools in Illinois are underfunded. We need to focus on providing the necessary funding to our public schools so that all children in Illinois continue to have access to a high-quality, public education.”
The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest union. IEA represents Pre K-12 teachers outside the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.