General Education Advocacy
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In 1973, in Blase v. State , the Supreme Court of Illinois held that the constitutional provision giving the state the "primary responsibility for financing the system of public education" was intended to express a goal or objective, not impose a specific obligation on the general assembly. In 1996, in Committee for Educational Rights v. Edgar , the state supreme court held that it did not have “judicially manageable standards” by which to determine whether the State was providing the high quality of education required by the Illinois Constitution. In 1999, in Lewis E. v.
Are we on the cusp of a new social justice unionism for teachers? Last year, Wisconsin teachers grabbed international attention with a takeover of the state capitol. This fall, the collaborative nature of the successful Chicago Teachers Union strike—and the breadth of parental, student, and community support—heartened and inspired education activists everywhere. What can we learn?
Illinois advanced landmark reforms in recent years to improve instruction for the 2 million students in public schools. Yet the drain of state resources threatens to derail progress, hamstring academic opportunities and unravel the basic education needed to prepare Illinois students for today’s world. Illinois confronts a financial crisis that threatens its very solvency. How Illinoisans – whether policymakers or parents, teachers or taxpayers – respond will shape the next generation of students.