Gov. J.B Pritzker has touted his record on higher education funding, even hinting many students should be given free tuition, but pensions are driving up tuition and eating state university funding. Pritzker refuses to tame that beast.
Illinois has already distributed billions in federal COVID-19 relief funds for education to school districts. The pandemic windfall should be used to help lagging students, not create programs requiring new taxes.
A bill to cut Illinois’ redundant school district bureaucracy could offer over $300 per student for classroom instruction. No schools would close as Illinois strived to cut administration costs that are double the U.S. average.
Illinois has too much school district administration. It has too much education pension debt. There are ways to solve those problems to help students facing challenges and taxpayers facing ever-increasing demands.
Redirecting some of Illinois’ school district administrative overhead could attract top talent to the more than 4,100 teacher openings. The savings could be $1,317 per taxpayer in one veteran teacher’s hometown. Reform pensions, and that amount grows.