Westmont, Illinois – Following Governor Pritzker’s budget address, Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery released this response.
“Despite the pandemic, Governor Pritzker has made huge strides in moving our state forward. We’re pleased to see that his proposed budget does not rely on increasing taxes or layoffs that would only hurt working families. We support his decision to close corporate tax loopholes to fund vital services and protect our hardest hit.
“When it comes to funding education, the Governor has done the best he can with the dire fiscal hand he has been dealt by COVID and the millionaire-led effort to prevent fair taxation in our state. When Illinois adopted the Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) plan, we all hoped education dollars would flow to our neediest communities and the state’s share of education funding would steadily increase. Yet Illinois remains near the bottom of the country in equitable education funding, and for the second year in a row, it will not be increased. And higher education is still suffering from decades-long disinvestment.
“We remain hopeful that Governor Pritzker will increase funding for schools in FY22 if revenue projections continue to improve and that he will fully fund EBF and higher education in future years. The IFT will continue to advocate for additional sources of state revenue and increased funding for schools, colleges, and universities.
“Recovering from the pandemic is vital to Illinois’ economic well-being, and it will take our collective power to make that happen. The IFT stands ready to work with Governor Pritzker to ensure that the recovery is focused on our most vulnerable.”
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The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) represents 103,000 teachers and paraprofessionals in PreK-12 school districts throughout Illinois, faculty and staff at Illinois’ community colleges and universities, public employees under every statewide elected constitutional officer, and retirees.