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Equal Education Begins With Equal Funding!

Let us fix our school funding process right the first time!

Yes, it is very clear that using real estate taxes as a basis for school funding is not the right thing to do. This practice promotes un-equal education in our schools while at the same time, results in a large investment of time by school officials, and citizens, in preparing and promoting referendums each year. Time and effort that would be better spent on the education of our children.

Funding education based on a communityís property wealth creates tremendous disparities between communities and the children of our region. There are per pupil school funding disparities in the Chicago region as great as six to one. Many of the lowest funded schools are the ones with the most poor people and the most special needs. Does a land of opportunity allow such disparities in educating their children?

The major reason for a recent teacher strike in our school district is that the teachers want to have the same value as teachers in other school districts. The teachers had to organize into a union and go on strike in order to fight for their equal value across districts concept.

But how do the kids get equal value across school districts for learning? Can they organize into a union and go on strike as the teachers do? Or does equal education only mean equal value for teachers across school districts but not equal value for the kids?

What is the message here? Equal funding per teacher in schools is OK but equal funding per kid in schools is out of the question? Isnít it time we demand our State fix this problem?

So what is the answer to this problem?

Schools should be funded by 100% state taxes with money being allocated to districts on an equal basis. Every school district in Illinois should receive the exact same amount of money per student, for each day they are in attendance. The emphasis should be on attracting and retaining our students in school each day, not on creating and promoting referendums.

I would not mind paying higher state income taxes IF school funding would be truly equitable across the state. Let us fix this problem right the first time! Donít make our kids, who we care so much about, have to fix this funding problem when they grow up.

This will certainly be the case if we continue to allow school districts to get any kind of funding based on the value of residential real estate. No part of school funding should come from local real estate taxes!

Be aware that politicians are getting nervous about our negative reaction to the high real estate taxes. They are creating neat sayings and sound bites to fool us into thinking they are addressing this issue. Letís not be fooled by the, now in vogue, phrase "real estate tax relief". This is just another catchy phrase like "the lotto will help pay for our schools!"

"Real estate tax relief" means we will eventually be paying higher state taxes as well as higher real estate taxes. The funding of our schools would still be referendum driven which will continue to promote un-equal education.

Thanks for listening and I hope you will support the idea of equal funding for each and every child attending our schools. Please give them ALL a chance.

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