"Alexi Giannoulias understands the importance of a strong public education system, spanning from pre-K to higher education, and is committed to supporting Illinois educators,” said IFT President Dan Montgomery on behalf of the organization’s more than 100,000 members in Illinois. The office of the Secretary of State oversees libraries and how young people learn to drive. These are critical issues of importance to our membership. Our public schools, families and educators need elected officials like Alexi who share our goals and offer bold, innovative ideas to ensure that our students come first.”
The recent announcement adds to the growing list of endorsers for Giannoulias’ campaign, particularly from organized labor. The IFT includes 100,000 public educators, school staff, and public employees, including more than 200 members who work in the Secretary of State’s office.
"I share IFT's commitment to providing a first-rate education for every child in this state – regardless of where they live – and supplying our students with the necessary tools to succeed after they graduate," Giannoulias said. "All Illinois students deserve a quality education. To make that happen, we need to best position our teachers and provide the support, equitable funding and resources they need."
In addition, Giannoulias will advocate for teachers’ rights, protect their health and safety in the classroom and safeguard their retirement savings.
Giannoulias, the former chair of the Illinois Community College System and member of the Chicago Public Library's Board of Directors, recently announced his License to Read program that aims to narrow the digital divide and offer more access to library resources and new after-school programing, particularly in underserved areas of the state. As the State’s Librarian, the Secretary of State oversees three library systems comprising more than 600 public libraries in Illinois.
The IFT represents more than 100,000 teachers and support staff in public school districts, faculty and staff at Illinois' community colleges and universities, public employees in every constitutional office, and retirees.