Rally draws nearly 1,000 to steps of Capitol to demand funding reform
May 20, 2017
By Bob Dolgan
Nearly 1,000 students, parents, teachers and school administrators from across the state rallied on the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday, May 17. The rally came as bills appeared before the Senate and House that would make Illinois’ school funding formula more equitable and adequate. Illinois currently ranks 50th in the nation for funding equity, according to The Education Trust, and 49th for funding adequacy. Advance Illinois was among rally organizers along with Teach Plus Illinois and members of the Fix the Formula Illinois campaign.
The rally also featured a footrace as a metaphor for Illinois’ school funding system. Students from wealthier districts started the footrace only a few yards from the finish line. Students from low-income districts started several yards behind the wealthier districts.
The rally included a performance of a fair funding version of the classic, “Which Side Are You On?” by the Lindblom Varsity Singers, from Lindblom Math and Science Academy in Chicago (video below).
Rally speakers included legislators from both parties and both chambers of the General Assembly.