Long, sad history — Illinois has failed our children

parents rallyPURE began our fight for fair, adequate state school funding about 20 years
ago. We joined a group called Coalition for Educational Reform which
ultimately filed a lawsuit against the state for failing to be the
predominant source of K-12 school funding as the Illinois constitution

The court rejected that case, saying that this was a legislative
problem and that it was the responsibility of the state’s elected
officials to address it. They failed to take on that responsibility.

In 1992, PURE helped get a referendum on the statewide ballot to force
the state to provide at least 50% of all school funding. The referendum
needed a 2/3 majority to pass. It fell short by only a few tenths of a

The fight has gone on since then. The parents pictured here were with PURE in Springfield in March, 1997, making the same case as Chicago Public Schools parents are making downtown at the Thompson Center today, and that the Responsible Budget Coalition is advocating for in Springfield. 

And while this decades-long struggle for fair, adequate school funding reaches a crisis, the Tribune and others are making a full-court press to get a voucher bill passed. What’s wrong with this picture?

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.