The group calling themselves Citizens for Education held their organizational launch Thursday night, holding a presentation in the Taylorville High School cafeteria. The group’s goal is to secure fair and adequate funding for all of Illinois school districts. The presentation featured several guest speakers including State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), as well as Melisa Livingston, a member of Citizens for Education as well as the Funding Illinois Future Coalition. Livingston showcased the Citizens for Education website, and showed a particular feature that will help you send an e-mail to your local representative.
State Senator Andy Manar discussed several issues that Illinois has when distributing funds to schools for education. One issue was how school districts with higher incomes receive more money per student than lower income school districts. He mentioned how towns with low income school districts tend to have higher property tax rates than higher income school districts in an attempt to help offset this difference. Manar also pointed out how this doesn’t usually work, citing how East St. Louis had an abnormally high tax rate, and how their school districts spend less per student than a school district in Arlington Heights with a tax rate a fraction of that of East St. Louis. Manar also mentioned how we haven’t changed the way we spend money on our educational systems in quite some time.
Senator Manar also pointed out the spending numbers for Taylorville Community Schools.
Taylorville Community Unit School District #3 Superintendent Dr. Greggory Fuerstenau also spoke at the event. He pointed out how some school districts such as Taylorville have to worry about cutting things that are much more valuable to their students than other districts.
Citizens for Education member Jenny Moats concluded the event by thanking the guests and everybody who attended. To find out more on Citizens for Education, visit online at citizens for education dot org.