Gov. Pat Quinn’s running mate Wednesday predicted “devastating cuts” to education across Illinois, including an $882 million hit to Chicago’s public schools, if Republican Bruce Rauner’s tax-cut plan is carried out.
If Rauner successfully rolls back the state’s 5-percent individual income taxes to 3 percent, as he has proposed doing over four years, Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Paul Vallas said Illinois schools would suffer a nearly $4 billion annual loss in revenues and as many as one out of every six public school teachers would face layoffs.
“He’s presented a budget that simply doesn’t work and simply isn’t responsible, and he’s trying to sell it as a comprehensive solution to what ails Illinois,” Vallas told reporters in Springfield Wednesday morning.
“Disinvesting in education does not improve the business climate. It does not create jobs. It’s not investing in our children’s future. It’s as simple as that. We can’t let him get off the hook. This is his plan,” said Vallas, the former CEO of Chicago’s public schools.
Rauner’s campaign dismissed Vallas’ claims, vowing that the Winnetka Republican would “fully fund” public schools, if elected, and accusing Quinn of presiding over $500 million in cumulative cuts to education since taking over as governor in 2009.
Vallas’ analysis showed Chicago, with the state’s largest school system, would face the most sizeable reduction in funds under Rauner’s plan – a loss that the Chicago Democrat said almost certainly could lead to more crippling school closures across the city, though Vallas would not specify a number.
“It means more school closings. It means major teacher layoffs. It means huge class sizes. It means more school consolidations. It means an elimination of curriculum, of supplemental educational services. It means, at the high school level, a dismantling of vocational technical education, early college programs, school-to-work programs,” Vallas said. More…