State of Illinois Archives: on Education


Mark Curran: Need localized approach to education and parental choice

Ensure a more localized approach to our education system. Give parents the ability to choose where they want to send their child to school, regardless of their income level or zip code.
Source: ScienceDebate.org on 2020 Illinois Senate race Nov 3, 2020

Mark Curran: Need localized approach to education and parental choice

Ensure a more localized approach to our education system. Give parents the ability to choose where they want to send their child to school, regardless of their income level or zip code.
Source: ScienceDebate.org on 2020 Illinois Senate race Nov 3, 2020

Richard Durbin: Create refundable tax credit for teachers in Title I schools

We were incentivizing experienced educators to work in affluent schools. The impact on students in Black and Brown neighborhoods is drastic. We can address these disparities by incentivizing teachers to make careers in areas with the most need. My bill, the Retaining Educators Takes Added Investment Now Act, would create a fully refundable tax credit for teachers in Title I schools and educators in early childhood education programs.
Source: ScienceDebate.org on 2020 Illinois Senate race Nov 3, 2020

J.B. Pritzker: Illinois will be best state for young families

We are reaffirming that our most important commitments are to our children and their education. Mark my words, Illinois will be the best state in the nation to raise a young family. Today, 20,000 more kids are getting childcare, and thousands more are going to preschool. To address our state's shortage of teachers, we raised the minimum teacher salary so we can retain educators in Illinois, and we made it more attractive for out-of-state teachers to move here.
Source: 2020 Illinois State of the State address Jan 29, 2020

J.B. Pritzker: Added 10,000 scholarships, free tuition at U. of Illinois

We made it easier for high school graduates to get a skilled wage by expanding vocational training and career and technical education for the first time in a decade. And after years of decline, we are turning around university student enrollment by making college more affordable, expanding scholarships to an additional 10,000 college-bound students--and this fall, more than half of the families in our state will be eligible for free tuition at the University of Illinois.
Source: 2020 Illinois State of the State address Jan 29, 2020

Mark Curran: There is no student loan crisis: against "free college"

Q: What should Congress do to address the student loan crisis? Would you use the word "crisis"?

CURRAN: I could cite many examples as to why the Illinois Universities are known for waste and unreasonably high salaries and pensions. I am not a proponent of "free college." Peoples choices have consequences and there is a reason why people come from all over the globe to go to college here. There is no crisis.

Source: Chicago Sun Times on 2020 Illinois Senate race Jan 22, 2020

J.B. Pritzker: Include historical contributions by LGBT in curriculum

Legislative Summary: HB0246: Provides that in public schools only, the teaching of history of the United States shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State.

Statement in opposition by Concerned Women for America: Illinois public school K-12 history classes will include a study in the roles and contributions of LGBT people in American and Illinois history. Leftists have taken advantage of taxpayer money in public schools to promote and legitimize their LGBTQ ideology, while vilifying and stifling traditional values and beliefs.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 60-42-15 on Mar/13/19; Passed Senate 37-17-5 on May/27/19; Signed by Governor J. B. Pritzker on Aug/9/19

Source: Concerned Women for America on Illinois voting record HB0246 Aug 9, 2019

Anne Stava-Murray: Include historical contributions by LGBT in curriculum

Legislative Summary: HB0246: Provides that in public schools only, the teaching of history of the United States shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State.

Statement in opposition by Concerned Women for America: Illinois public school K-12 history classes will include a study in the roles and contributions of LGBT people in American and Illinois history. Leftists have taken advantage of taxpayer money in public schools to promote and legitimize their LGBTQ ideology, while vilifying and stifling traditional values and beliefs.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 60-42-15 on Mar/13/19; State Rep. Anne Stava-Murray co-sponsored the bill and voted YES; Passed Senate 37-17-5 on May/27/19; Signed by Governor J. B. Pritzker on Aug/9/19

Source: Concerned Women for America on Illinois voting record HB0246 Mar 13, 2019

J.B. Pritzker: Universal preschool is educational priority

Investing in early childhood is the single most important education policy decision government can make, and it has proven to provide a significant return on investment. That's why I'm proposing funding the Early Childhood Block Grant at $594 million, an increase of $100 million from fiscal year 2019. It will allow us to begin the march toward universal preschool so that every child in Illinois will have a real opportunity to succeed.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Illinois legislature Feb 20, 2019

Bruce Rauner: Vetoed higher education bill as irresponsible funding

Education: Increase state funding for higher education?

Pritzker: Yes. Need sustained, long-term investment to attract students and businesses dependent on well-educated workforce.

Rauner: Yes. But vetoed funding bill that he considered an irresponsible way to fund higher education.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Illinois Governor race Nov 1, 2018

Anne Stava-Murray: Shift cost of education away from property tax

Property taxes in Illinois are absurdly high. To fix property taxes, we need to fix the largest driver of cost within property taxes: public education funding. Anyone who talks about property taxes in isolation misses the larger point of how broken our state's system of education funding has been. The cost burden for public education has been taken on at the local level for far too long.
Source: Chicago Daily Herald on 2020 Illinois Senate race Oct 22, 2018

Anne Stava-Murray: Decades of disinvestment have hurt Illinois state schools

Q: From 2000 to 2016, the number of Illinois residents who enrolled as college freshmen outside the state increased by 73% (20,507 to 35,445). Why are so many more Illinois residents going to college elsewhere? What should be done to encourage more of them to go to school here?

Stava-Murray: High cost and an uncertainty about the commitment of the state to improving the dire situation many state universities have been put into by decades of disinvestment and highly public impacts by the recent budget impasse hurt IL state schools when college bound students are determining (often with the input of their parents) where to go. Several initiatives to make IL state schools more competitive were just signed into law, including but not limited to scholarships and funding.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times on 2020 Illinois Senatorial race Oct 22, 2018

J.B. Pritzker: Invest in public education, not vouchers

I will invest in a public education system that improves the well-being of every child and prepares them for the jobs of tomorrow. I will oppose school vouchers and charter school expansion and will work to construct a stronger birth-to-five system of early childhood education. I will increase K-12 funding across the board because the state hasn't done enough to help children in every school thrive.
Source: 2018 Illinois Gubernatorial website JBPritzker com Sep 15, 2017

Chris Kennedy: Support public education from pre-school to college

Chris' plans for education include: creating more equitable access to prenatal care; providing healthy nutrition for mothers and babies; supporting paid family leave and incentivizing affordable childcare services; moving the state toward full access to early childhood education; increasing state aid for more fairly funded K-12 public school system; and increasing needs-based financial aid for college as well as 21st century, skills-based job training programs.
Source: 2018 Illinois Gubernatorial website KennedyForIllinois.com Sep 1, 2017

J.B. Pritzker: Increase state funding for public schools

Every child in Illinois deserves a quality K-12 education, no matter where they grow up. According to the Illinois Constitution, the state has the primary responsibility for financing our system of public education. Unfortunately, Illinois ranks nearly last in the nation in the percent of state funding for education and we are last among all 50 states in funding for low-income students. We must work to achieve a system that both adequately funds and equitably serves every child in Illinois.
Source: 2018 Illinois gubernatorial campaign website JBPritzker.com Jul 17, 2017

J.B. Pritzker: Invest in higher education to attract jobs & businesses

Illinois should have world-class institutions of higher learning that attract students from across the country and provide Illinoisans the education and training they need to succeed in 21st-century jobs. But without sustained, long-term investment, students of all ages will miss out on the opportunities higher education can provide. When we invest in higher education, we attract jobs and businesses that rely on a highly-educated workforce and drive economic prosperity across our state.
Source: 2018 Illinois gubernatorial campaign website JBPritzker.com Jul 17, 2017

Chris Kennedy: Need-based scholarships is educational justice

Education Justice: The university systems still greatly favor wealthy, high-achieving students. We know that the high-achieving students are almost always from wealthy families.

Universities that used to provide scholarship money that was need-based are now reallocating it to merit-based scholarship in an effort to buy in the students with the best high school GPAs and highest ACT or SAT scores in order to move up the ranks. We are, in effect, recirculating these charitable dollars among the rich because we know that high-achieving high school students are almost always from wealthy families.

We are removing one more device that provided access between the lower economic quintiles and the upper quintiles by limiting scholarship dollars that are need-based. This educational achievement gap creates a structural barrier to success, amplifying challenges to the poor and violating the tenants of the American ideal.

Source: 2018 Gubernatorial campaign website, KennedyForIllinois.com Jan 31, 2017

Chris Kennedy: Poor-rich mobility begins early in school

The core of the mobility issue begins early on. Poor kids don't have access to schools that are as good as the schools in wealthy neighborhoods. The rich live near the rich and the poor live near the poor. As a result, the poor have no access to the tax base that funds the school systems that the rich kids go to. Bruce Rauner makes a bad situation worse. He's going to further isolate the poor and leave them limited access to the benefits of living in the wealthiest country in the world.
Source: 2018 Gubernatorial campaign website, KennedyForIllinois.com Jan 31, 2017

Bruce Rauner: $100M for early education; close district funding gaps

Two years ago we delivered unprecedented funding for our K-12 schools, and the next year we came back and did it again. In all, our kids are receiving $700 million more per year from the state than two years ago, including an extra $100 million for early childhood education. The practice of proration has come to an end.

We formed a bipartisan task force to recommend changes to the unbalanced way our K-12 public schools are funded. For years Illinois has provided the lowest percentage of education financial support from any state in the country. And we have the largest gap between funding for high income schools and low income schools in the country, both across the state and within the city of Chicago. The task force expects to finish their work in the coming weeks, and we look forward to working on a bipartisan basis to implement their recommendations.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Illinois Legislature Jan 25, 2017

Raja Krishnamoorthi: 4-point plan for affordable college

Utilizing a combination of tax incentives, expanded Pell Grants and a streamlined loan application process, Raja's 4-point plan would tear down the barriers that are contributing to our nation's increasing income inequality and hurting our economic growth by helping more children from working families obtain a higher education. The Raja Krishnamoorthi Plan for Affordable College includes:
  1. A new Opportunity Tax Credit that allows families with up to $200,000 in annual income to claim a total of $15,000 in tax credits per student.
  2. Increasing the maximum Pell Grant by 75%--increasing investment in Pell Grants would enable more low income families to afford sending students to college.
  3. Creating a 401k-style plan whereby employers match employee payments on student debt, with contributions exempted from income and payroll taxes.
  4. Streamlining the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) form through the use of prior-year data already available to the IRS.
Source: 2016 Illinois House campaign website RajaForCongress.com Nov 8, 2016

Bruce Rauner: Let families choose traditional, charter, or private schools

For 20 years, I've worked on improving education in Illinois. I've helped lead many education organizations such as the New Schools for Chicago, The Noble Network of Charter Schools, ACT Charter School, & the Chicago Public Education Fund.

Our efforts work. In the public charter schools, the first-year students start grade levels behind, but by the time they graduate high school, most students are going to college.

Source: 2014 Illinois Gubernatorial campaign website BruceRauner.com Nov 4, 2014

Ameya Pawar: Give city families the schools they seek out in suburbs

Since taking office in 2011, together we have accomplished so much. Our highlights include creating GROW47 to help organize our community around neighborhood schools. The goal: build a neighborhood K-12 system and give families in the city what they seek out in the suburbs. The result: new "Friends of" groups, millions in 47th ward TIF money to neighborhood schools, hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for new playgrounds, and a major project at EVERY neighborhood school in the 47th ward.

My office works very hard to provide high quality constituent services, improve neighborhood schools, improve public safety, and ensure we grow our local economy and create jobs. This is your government and your office; as such, I welcome your ideas and suggestions on how we can work together to improve our community.

Source: Illinois 2018 Gubernatorial campaign website, Chicago47.org Nov 1, 2014

Napoleon Harris: Supplemental state aid to low-income school districts

SB 16 Amends Formula for School Funding: Bill Passed Senate (32 - 19); Napoleon Harris voted Yea.
Source: VoteSmart synopsis of 2014 Illinois voting records May 27, 2014

Jim Oberweis: Voted NO on sex education including contraception

Oberweis voted NAY on HB 2675, a bill to Expand Sex Education Curriculum (Bill passed Senate, 37-21).

OnTheIssues Synopsis: Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades 6 through 12 shall include instruction on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

No pupil shall be required to participate in any sex education class if a parent or guardian submits a written objection.

Source: 2013 Illinois state legislative voting records May 22, 2013

Pat Quinn: Consolidate from 868 school districts to save $100M

Illinois currently has 868 school districts, and our fiscal reality demands consolidation. I am proposing the formation of a commission that will review the number of school districts in our state.

Consolidation lowers administrative overhead, improves efficiency and will save taxpayers $100 million. I am also proposing eliminating state funding for the salaries & offices for regional school superintendents. The $13 million annual savings will be spent in the classroom, rather than on administration.

Source: Illinois 2011 State of the State Budget Address Feb 16, 2011

Pat Quinn: Race to the Top: Invest in elementary & secondary education

We worked hard on getting a law passed that can make a difference for years to come, called "Race to the Top," accountable education, with up to half a billion dollars in federal money, to make sure our education in our state at the elementary and secondary level is second to none.

I think it's up to 340 schools districts, have already signed on to participate in this program. Education is the key to economic empowerment. It's the best way for equal opportunity for the most people in a democracy

Source: Illinois 2010 State of the State Address Jan 13, 2010

Alexi Giannoulias: Invest in early childhood education

Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, AlexiForIllinois.com, "Issues" Dec 25, 2009

Alan Keyes: Parents, not schools, should be responsible for sex ed

KEYES: You voted that sex education should begin in kindergarten but it would be ďage appropriate.Ē Do you believe that in 2nd grade we should be teaching from books like Heather Has Two Mommies.

OBAMA: We have an existing law that mandates sex education in the schools and we want to make sure that itís medically accurate & age appropriate. [Sex education] is in the law so schoolchildren can exercise some kind of protection against abuse.

KEYES: I think its perfectly appropriate for parents t talk to their children at these tender young ages in a way that reflects their faith and their values, as understood according to their moral identity and religious culture. And I think its dangerous to be touching these subjects at such tender ages in a school environment rather than leaving it to the parents. I believe in empowering parents with the right to choose the environment where their children will be educated rather than usurping their role with a bureaucratically dominated education system.

Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes Oct 21, 2004

Barack Obama: Sex education needed to help children discuss molestation

KEYES: [to Obama]: You voted that sex education should begin in kindergarten but it would be ďage appropriate sex education.Ē But you opposed putting internet filters in schools. It makes me wonder what exactly you think is age appropriate. Do you believ that in the 2nd grade we should be teaching from books like Heather Has Two Mommies.

OBAMA: Actually, that wasnít what I had in mind. We have an existing law that mandates sex education in the schools and we want to make sure that itís medically accurate and age appropriate. I have a 3 year old daughter and a six year old daughter and one of the things I talk about with my wife is the possibility of someone touching them inappropriately. And thatís why [sex education] is in the law. So they can exercise some kind of protection against abuse. As for filters, I have voted for them. In the school setting, there was information schoolchildren could not access such as information about breast cancer, which is why there was a broad opposition.

Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes Oct 21, 2004

Barack Obama: Sponsored legislations that recruit and reward good teachers

Obama co-sponsored legislation to create a National Teaching Academy of Chicago that recruits, prepares and develops quality teachers for high-need urban school districts. He co-sponsored legislation that created the Future Teacher Corps Scholarships to provide financial aid for undergraduate & graduate students studying to become teachers. He was chief sponsor of a bill creating the Certified Teacher Retention Bonus Program that provides grants to reward high quality teachers in low performing schools.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, ObamaForIllinois.com Sep 28, 2004

Barack Obama: Address the growing achievement gap between students

Our public education system is the key to opportunity for millions of children and families. It needs to be the best in the world. Of particular concern is the growing achievement gap between middle and low-income students, which has continued to expand despite some overall national achievement gains.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, ObamaForIllinois.com May 2, 2004

Barack Obama: Will add 25,000 teachers in high-need areas

Obama will fight for full funding for Head Start and expanded pre-school, so every child starts school ready to learn. He has proposed a national network of teaching academies to add 25,000 new teachers to high-need urban and rural schools. And, he will work to send deserving students to college through loan programs that help middle-class families instead of banks.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, ObamaForIllinois.com May 2, 2004

Mike Bost: Supports charters, corporate investment, and merit pay

Source: 2000 Illinois National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2000

Rodney Davis: Vouchers for public, private, and religious schools

Source: Illinois State 1996 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1996

  • The above quotations are from State of Illinois Politicians: Archives.
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  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Education:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Jan 28, 2021