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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:40pm
Wed Feb 12, 2014

Travis Touts Her Education Activism, Criticizes Mitchell's Record In 26th District Race

Jhatayn “Jay” Travis, who is challenging incumbent State Rep. Christian Mitchell in the 26th District Democratic primary, unveiled her education platform Wednesday morning flanked by public school parents, teachers and Chicago residents.

The group gathered in front of the now empty John Fiske Elementary school, located in Chicago’s West Woodlawn neighborhood. The school is one of 50 Chicago public schools that were shuttered last year.

“When schools close, the children in our neighborhoods lose,” said Travis, former executive director of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization. “Our communities lose viable institutions. We can no longer allow school closings to go forward.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:17pm
Wed Feb 12, 2014

Ralph Martire: Illinois School Funding Reform Must Include Changes To Tax Policy

Reforming Illinois' public education funding system has to include fixes to the state’s tax policy, argued Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, at a DePaul University education forum Tuesday evening.

“For decades, Illinois has denied an adequate education to the vast majority of its school children, and it’s set up a structurally-racist system of education finance that specifically singles out African Americans and Latinos for very poorly funded education,” Martire said at the discussion about equity in education. “To fix that, we need to raise taxes the right way.”

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:57pm
Tue Feb 11, 2014

Candidates In Crowded 40th District Race Talk Pension Reform, Other Issues

From taxes to public education funding to statewide pension reform, the six candidates vying to represent Illinois' 40th District on Chicago's Northwest Side laid out their positions on a number of issues at a public forum Monday night. Progress Illinois was there for the forum.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:04pm
Fri Feb 7, 2014

State Senate Committee Calls For Education Funding Reforms

Most state public education dollars should be distributed under a single funding formula based on the needs of school districts, a state Senate advisory committee argued in a report recently submitted to the governor and the Illinois General Assembly.

Created last July, the Senate Education Funding Advisory Committee was tasked with recommending ways to improve the current public education funding system in Illinois, which has remained unchanged since 1997.  

Following months of discussion on the issue, the bipartisan committee, chaired by State Sens. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and Dave Luechtefeld (R-Okawville), recommended in the report that 96 percent of state education dollars should be combined under one school funding formula, with the exception of funds for early childhood education, capital projects and high-cost special education.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:33pm
Wed Jan 29, 2014

Breaking Down Quinn's State Of The State Address

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s “State of the State” speech Wednesday afternoon zeroed in on job creation, a new early childhood education initiative and efforts to boost small businesses and rebuild the middle class, including a renewed push to raise the state's minimum wage. Progress Illinois takes a look at some of the highlights from the speech.

PI Original
by Aricka Flowers
8:07pm
Tue Jan 28, 2014

LIVE BLOG: State Of The Union Address 2014

As President Barack Obama gives his fifth State of the Union address Tuesday night, we will provide you with the highlights from the president's speech.

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