IFT President stops in Quincy
6 months, 4 weeks ago By Jamie Busen
Daniel Montgomery says schools can't afford more cuts
Illinois Federation of Teachers President Daniel Montgomery says the billion dollar cut to education funding the Republicans have put as an option on the table is a "remarkably bad idea."
Montgomery has been traveling the state emphasizing that statement. He made a stop in Quincy Wednesday afternoon to talk with area teachers and paraprofessionals at the Quincy Federation of Teachers office.
Montgomery said area schools can't afford more cuts, and he said it was important that area lawmakers fight to protect the money.
"One of the things that has come to our attention is Randy Frese's call to sort of endorse the Republican budget," Montgomery said. "We just think that's a tremendously bad idea, and we don't think it's something that most people in Illinois want to do. If you really think of the consequences of that for education and what that would mean ... it is not a recipe for success for our students in Illinois."
Frese, the Republican challenger for State Senator, is running against current Senator John Sullivan. The IFT has endorsed Sullivan and members of the Quincy Federation of Teachers have been reimbursed by the IFT for making phone calls on behalf of Sullivan's campaign.
Montgomery said that Illinois students are not only competing with other students around the country, but all over the world.
"We have a lot of work to do to prepare them for the 21st century economy," he said. "As teachers, we like to think we can help educate the public about what a billion dollar cut to education might really mean."
Those cuts, he said, would mean numerous things on the chopping block - more transportation dollars, basic educational services and extracurriculars.
"We want to call to people's attention that this is a bad idea," he said. "Anyone who wants to advocate cutting .... needs to go back to school and rethink their priorities."
Nothing says that the cuts have to happen, Montgomery said.
"This is an optional view from the Republicans that maybe this would be ... a good fiscal idea, "he said. "There's a lot of difficult choices to make in Illinois, there's no question about that ... When tough decisions have to be made, we ought to harm our children last."
Frese Deputy Campaign Manager Kimber Beckler said Frese does not endorse cuts to education.
"Randy hasn't voted to cut education and I would hope the IFT would endorse paying our schools the money they are owed, which the Legislature, with John Sullivan as one of its leaders, has failed to do," Beckler said.