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Letters

SB 1 is the way to treat students fairly

State Sen. Pat McGuire, D-Crest Hill, discusses SB 1 at The Herald-News in Joliet on Friday, August 4.
State Sen. Pat McGuire, D-Crest Hill, discusses SB 1 at The Herald-News in Joliet on Friday, August 4.

To the Editor:

A recent Herald-News editorial asserts that Illinois’ funding formula should be fair for all districts, Chicago included. SB 1 is just that fair solution. Its provisions include the allocation of new money to districts with the highest need.

Under SB 1, no district loses money, but under Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto, Chicago and its students will.

Even though Chicago’s population is
85 percent low-income, its schools will not only lose money, but the district will be forced to spend money on pensions that could have been spent in classrooms. Chicago is the only district in the state to pay for its own pensions.

Including a pension payment in SB 1 levels the playing field and ensures that Chicago is treated like every other district. If Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly truly want to see districts treated fairly, then
SB 1 needs to be passed as-is, and it needs to happen quickly.

Many schools won’t be able to continue past a couple of months without immediate action.

My students are fortunate to have access to highly qualified educators, up-to-date and rigorous curricula, technology, regular fine arts and physical education, well-maintained facilities, enrichment courses and programs for extra help.

Even with all of these advantages, I know that some of my students struggle to be successful. But every day, they get to come to a school with the materials and resources to help them improve.

There are too many students and schools in our state without these materials and resources. How can we possibly expect them to perform at the same level? We must take a stand and demand that school funding be distributed fairly to all, just as
SB 1 stipulates.

Sarah White

Channahon, fifth-grade teacher at Minooka Intermediate School and Teach Plus Illinois Teaching Policy Fellow

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