State of Illinois Archives: on Education

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 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 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 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, 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, 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 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 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, 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,, "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, 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, 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, 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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2016 Presidential contenders on Education:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Feb 13, 2018