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Newswire August 29th, 2017

MAKING LINCOLN PROUD.  Tomorrow, August 30, Governor Bruce Rauner (R-IL) could sign into law new path-breaking legislation creating the state’s first tax credit scholarship program, part of the state’s new education funding bill.  The $75 million tax credit scholarship program could serve as many as 20,000 students and will be the nation’s largest first-year school choice program.  Designed to help low and working-class families, the program is a result of a bipartisan compromise and demonstrates that even in the darkest of blue states, legislative leaders, with strong leadership from the Governor, can produce real results for kids.

CER’s Jeanne Allen issued the following statement: 

“Illinois joins dozens of other states that have put partisanship aside to address the needs of thousands of students. Gov. Rauner, Speaker Madigan, Majority Leader Cullerton, and Republican Leaders Durkin and Brady all deserve applause for their leadership and commitment to children.”

IL Secretary of Education Beth Purvis applauded the General Assembly, saying, 

“Today the Illinois General Assembly passed historic education funding reform that will ensure that Illinois public schools are adequately and equitably funded.  In addition,  this legislation — which is a direct result of Governor Rauner’s School Funding Reform Commission —  provides school choice in the form of equitable funding for charter schools and tax credit scholarships.”

For more information about the program, contact our friends at OneChanceIllinois



“Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in. That every man may receive at least, a moderate education, and thereby be enabled to read the histories of his own and other countries, by which he may duly appreciate the value of our free institutions, appears to be an object of vital importance, even on this account alone, to say nothing of the advantages and satisfaction to be derived from all being able to read the scriptures and other works, both of a religious and moral nature, for themselves. For my part, I desire to see the time when education, and by its means, morality, sobriety, enterprise and industry, shall become much more general than at present, and should be gratified to have it in my power to contribute something to the advancement of any measure which might have a tendency to accelerate the happy period.”

– March 9, 1832, First Political Announcement

ANNUAL ATTITUDES.  Sadly Lincoln’s sentiment is not the theme of the 2017 PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, the headline of which is, “Academic achievement isn’t the only mission” of public schools.  If you take the questions and answers literally, Americans do indeed appear united in numerous ways in their belief that schools must prepare students more fully and broadly for life.  But while that’s the theme, it’s not at all clear from this poll that they reject the value of knowledge as important for that preparation.

CER Special Report: Understanding the 2017 PDK Poll


Read CER’s Special Report on the PDK poll to learn more about how to make sense of the latest in public opinion, and what you need to know to help all students learn, in the words of Honest Abe, to “duly appreciate the value of our free institutions.”

AND IN CASE YOU MISSED IT.  Log onto EdReform.com for the latest on the AFT Chronicles or the ongoing effort by African-American leaders to show they have a different point of view on educational opportunity than many established organizations who claim to represent their views.