Issues: a) A significant academic opportunity gap between black/white students in Springfield District 186; b) Higher rate of African American students becoming victims of bullying; c) Higher rates of suspension and expulsion for African American students.
Response: The Education for All task force identified the lack of adequate funding for public education in Springfield District 186 as a key reason that poor, black students do not succeed at the same rate as their white middle class counterparts. Working closely with the bill's sponsor, Sen. Andy Manar, Faith Coalition Education leaders advocated for the State Education Funding Reform bill, which looks at the way schools are funded through the lens of poverty. This advocacy work continues as Illinois legislative leaders struggle with the current budget crisis. Leaders also developed relationships with the new school superintendent and her cabinet. Task force leaders serve on the District's truancy committee and are also pushing School District administrators to implement policies on bullying and restorative justice. An initiative called “In School and On Time, Your Community Cares” was launched and continues to be promoted.
Education to Empower
FCCG is coordinating with Advance Illinois to maintain evidence-based funding for Illinois schools and improving remote learning experiences for students and families. They met with District 186 Superintendent Jennifer Gill and are collaborating with the District to create a diversity and inclusion curriculum for students and teachers. If you would like to work with the Education task force, contact Amber Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org. (updated October 2020)
Funding Illinois' Future
Last year’s signing of SB1947 was a bipartisan celebration and held the promise of a new era for public education. This budget breaks that promise and reverts back to the same old story in Illinois: an inequitable system that provides fewer dollars to the state’s low-income students. The remaining cleanup to SB1947 must be resolved in this session of the General Assembly so that money can begin to flow to schools. With the new formula, Illinois has a path to equitable and adequate school funding. But the state must make significant investments in the FY19 budget—without shifting costs—to start us down that path.
Statement on Governor’s FY19 state budget proposal...
The Governor’s budget proposal is another blow to public education in Illinois. Most Illinois students go to classrooms that remain well below adequate funding levels. Schools have yet to receive any dollars from the new funding formula. The budget proposal reduces year-over-year investment in education and shifts costs to districts, increasing inequity and inadequacy and reliance on local property taxes. Money shifted to pensions means fewer dollars for classrooms and reduces the capacity of some schools to implement the evidence-based practices which help students achieve academically.
Read the full statement...
The Faith Coalition is a member of Funding Illinois' Future.