I’ve been in education for eight years and I’ve taught at an elementary school in Maywood, Illinois for the past three years. My district is considered a low-income school district and my students are predominantly Black and Brown.
The past few years under Bruce Rauner have been really scary for us. The conversation we’ve been forced to have nonstop is whether or not our schools can survive and thrive. During the budget crisis, we didn’t know if we could open in the fall or how long we could stay open. We were scared for our students and whether or not they would be able to get their education. My district already does not have the same resources as more affluent districts, so dealing with Bruce Rauner’s cuts and instability has been really damaging to us. Just because my students live in a certain zip code doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have access to the same education as other students, but that’s what it has been like under this governor.
My hope is for a future where we have truly equitable school funding in Illinois. We need the resources to bring restorative practices into our school and to help students living in poverty or dealing with trauma. I support JB because he understands this and has a proven record of expanding quality education. What he did with early childhood education shows me that he cares. He’s there, he listens, and he’s supportive of what our students need. That’s the kind of leadership that will go a long way to help students like mine.