Yesterday Was Not a Win

Illinois passed a budget yesterday to ensure that schools would open in the fall ­ this was not a win. Legislators did nothing but pass a stopgap budget. Speaker Madigan touts this effort as an achievement. But this “achievement” is merely a Band­Aid on a fractured spine. This stopgap budget only came about because the party needed to be able to avoid blame if children were not in school. Schools are only certain about one thing in this fiasco. I mean disaster. I mean outcome. They will open up in the fall. That is about the only thing they are sure about going into the 2016­-2017 school year. This stopgap budget doesn’t fix a broken educational spending formula. It doesn’t reform pensions or workers’ comp. It does nothing to actually provide stability to the state and leave Illinois residents with any confidence things will get better. In 6 months, parents will have to wonder will they be in this battle again. In 6 months, teachers may be ready to go to Springfield. There are still more questions than certainties.

So, don’t get too relaxed. There’s still a ways to go before we can finally take a breath of relief; because what took place on Thursday deserves no victory lap. Nothing was truly accomplished that will inspire hope in our state government going forward. ​The taxpayers are being asked to bail out a school system that will still be in place asking for more money to clean up their malfeasance and mismanagement. Schools will continue to lose more talent because there is nothing certain even with this budget. Lastly, we have to hope that in these next 6 months, legislators will be inspired to pass a real budget which creates jobs and gives us economic stability.

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Daniel Jean

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