Late last week, NTU, on behalf of its 14,000 members in Illinois, sent a letter to the Illinois House, urging them to support SB 2494, which would reform schools while saving tax dollars. The letter reads:
"Illinois' schools are in critical condition. Between 2000 and 2008 alone, total spending on public elementary and secondary schools grew by nearly 25 percent – AFTER accounting for inflation. The Heritage Foundation estimates that taxpayers shell out $100,000 to educate a pupil from kindergarten through the 12th grade today. Yet barely more than half of African American and Hispanic students, including those in Chicago, graduate high school. Without a proper education, children lack the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to their communities and compete in the global economy. As a result, we see higher costs imposed on society and ultimately the taxpayers who foot the bill for many remedial efforts."
"More spending and government control have failed to improve public education; it is time to try something different. SB 2494 would create a pilot program to provide children with vouchers to enroll in private schools that meet state education standards. To be eligible, children would need to satisfy income qualifications and would need to be currently attending any of the academically lowest-performing ten percent of Chicago elementary schools. SB 2494 has already passed the Senate 33-20 and the House's Executive Committee 10-1."
Let's hope that the Illinois House follows the recommendation in the letter and supports SB 2494.