Mom leads effort to reform school funding in Illinois - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Mom leads effort to reform school funding in Illinois

Michelle Jordan doesn't think of herself as a policy wonk, but Evanston's seemingly perpetual school money shortage has caused her to dive into the arcane realm of school finance.

"I am not a person who reads tax codes for entertainment," said Jordan, who understands that eyes tend to glaze over when talk turns to state aid formulas, foundation levels or equalized assessed valuation.

But Jordan believes an informed electorate offers the best hope for overhauling the state's system of funding public education.

"School District 65 is in a continual crisis," Jordan said. "Everybody takes their ire toward the board when, in fact, there is a limited amount of money coming into all of our school districts right now."

Jordan, a Lincolnwood School mother and member of the League of Women Voters of Evanston, is spearheading an effort to inform community members - in plain language - about the need for restructuring the state's system of education funding.

Another Evanston parent and league member, Toni Gilpin, has authored an easy-to-digest pamphlet, the ABCs of School Funding in Evanston.

A forum Tuesday, sponsored by the League of Women Voters, will kick off at 7 p.m. with a keynote talk by Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. The forum, co-sponsored by the Illinois PTA and Voices for Illinois Children, will be held at the Joseph E. Hill Education Center, 1500 McDaniel Ave.

At 8 p.m., the forum will feature a presentation by A+ Illinois , a growing coalition of organizations that is pushing for school funding reform across the state.



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