By: Jasmine Stewart
With everyone running to the polls (at least I would hope) in order to start casting their votes on some of the most prominent figures in Illinois, doing the research on all of the candidates is also quite necessary. I know everyone probably hears that all the time, but it couldn’t be truer. As much as we, the people, voice our concerns about issues that affect us on a daily basis, wouldn’t it be smart for us to know which candidates plan on doing something about these problems? Well, one of my biggest concerns is about schooling, and I don’t know much about him, but I wanted to see just exactly what Governor Bruce Rauner’s position is on education.
As many of you may or may not know, quite a few of Chicago’s public schools have been recently shut down. Or, if not shut down, then merged with other schools. One building was demolished in order for a new school to be put in its place while others have been taken over by privately-owned charter schools. One of those school’s is being backed by a foundation under rapper Common’s name. The communities affected by this change now have hundreds of children that need to be situated elsewhere.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have an issue with entertainers making contributions to our school districts. I don’t have an issue with mega churches doing so, as well. Some already have for these new charter schools. The issue I do have is with private businesses doing so. It’s almost as though they are making a profit off of the backs of students, which I always figured demeaned the purpose of the education system. So how does Gov. Rauner feel about all this?
Well, he already has led educational organizations like The Noble Network of Charter Schools, New Schools for Chicago, and ACT Charter School. He even helped out the Chicago Public Education Fund. According to ontheissues.org, he feels that families should be able to choose where their kids go to school, rather it be charter, private, or traditional. Not only does he believe that our tax dollars should be re-prioritized so that education is taken care of first, but he also feels that educators should be given the autonomy to run their own schools.
Gov. Rauner also wants to insure that at least $100 million be given to early education as an attempt to help close the gaps in district spending. For years, there’s been an imbalance in how much funding has been given to high income schools in relation to low income schools. He already has a bipartisan task force underway that’s working on implementing those changes.
I, personally, love the idea of educators having more authority within school districts. If Rauner is willing to see to that, then he might have some more voters in his corner. However, this is not the only subject that needs to be examined. There are so many more things that need to be done for Chicago and this is only step one for us to find out who’s going to do the best job at supporting all of us.