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.