No More Band-Aids: Do the Surgery and Fund Illinois Schools

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You can’t use a Band-Aid forever. Band-Aids aren’t useful for every kind of injury. If I break my leg open, a small adhesive Band-Aid will not take care of the problem. I will continue to remain injured until a real solution is used to make me whole again. I wish our elected officials in Springfield and Mayor Rahm’s office thought of education in the same light. There has been a lot of finger pointing but no good solutions. Meanwhile, families are waiting, worrying, and suffering in an education system that has done nothing but Band-Aid their children’s needs when surgery is needed.

In 2015, the state of Illinois had not yet passed a budget for public schools statewide. That left many to wonder if schools would even open in August. In 2016, the state of Illinois has not yet passed a budget for public schools statewide. That left many to wonder if schools would even open up in August. Wait. I just said that. Wait. it’s happening again a year later.

We are going into another year fiscal year of uncertainty. Legislators are coming with what’s shaping up to be more Band-Aid plans to make sure that schools open. The actual problem is our funding formula which legislators seem to be in no rush to fix even though they acknowledge it is a real problem. We are talking about millions of families who are left in a state of uncertainty again going in to another summer. How nerve-wrecking is that?!

Good teachers and principals are already making exodus out of CPS and other districts. So not only do parents have to contend with not knowing if their school will open but they also have to deal with the uncertainty of the best teachers no longer being around if the schools reopen.  

Stop using Band-Aids when surgery is required. We don’t need stop gap funding to make sure things happen when we know a totally new funding formula is the key to making things right. Sec. of Education, Beth Purvis wants us to believe the bills being discussed now are bridge year plans to open schools, but will allow them to come up with a new formula which will grant equity. I want to believe that.

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Daniel Jean

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