The Rev. and State Senator James Meeks’ voucher bill (Senate Bill 2494 ) to allow Chicago Public School students from failing and overcrowded schools to attend the private school of their parents’ choice with a relatively small portion of the State Aid to Education was shot down by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans.
It failed 48-66-2 , according to the person in the Speaker’s Chair in the video below. 60 votes were needed to pass the bill. (Who voted how is in the linked article.)
Friday, the Chicago Tribune provided a list on its editorial page in a piece entitled,
You lose, kids. Tough.
It is simply disgraceful that Chicago children cannot get a decent education. Here was a chance to do something about the fiasco by supporting Senate Bill 2494 and the following Republicans voted,
- Dan Brady of Bloomington
- Rich Brauer of Springfield
- John Cavaletto of Salem
- Sandy Cole of Grayslake
- Roger Eddy of Hutsonville
- Renee Kosel of Mokena
- Sidney Mathias of Arlington Heights
- Bill Mitchell of Decatur
- Jerry Mitchell of Rock Falls
- Donald Moffitt of Galesburg
- Rosemary Mulligan of Des Plaines
- Sandra Pihos of Glen Ellyn
- Raymond Poe of Springfield
- Robert Pritchard of Sycamore
- Randy Ramey, Jr., of Wesst chicago
- David Reis of Olney
- Chapin Rose of charleston
- Jim Sacia of Freeport
- Angelo Saviano of Elmwood Park
- Jil Tracy of Quincy
- Jim Watson of Jacksonville
Some of these folks at one point during the roll call voted ,“Yes.” When it appeared the bill would not pass, however, they switched to “No” or “Present.” (“Present” has the same effect as a “No” vote because sixty affirmative votes are required for passage of most bills.)
Among the many Democrats opposing the bill was McHenry County State Rep. Jack Franks. His Republican colleagues Mike Tryon and Mark Beaubien supported the bill.
The Illinois Education Association (IEA) is a most powerful lobbying group.
Here was a solution that did not right all the ills of the public school system, but IT WAS A START that would have most benefitted the neediest kids in the Chicago Public Schools. It would have cost NOTHING for the state to do, and it would have provided given these kids AT LEAST A CHANCE for a decent education.
That these legislators, especially these Republicans, did not vote for this bill can only be explained by the power of the teachers’ unions against the bill. These legislators chose to side with the unions over the best interest of these kids. They have shown themselves clearly on the side of the tax-eaters.
Again, this program, school vouchers for the neediest CPS kids, was a solution. They had nothing to lose here, and I am not seeing any other solution being proposed- the only thing they really want is a big hike in state taxes to continue feeding the public school establishment beast.
I count 21 Republicans voting against educational choice for the parents in Chicago. A change of 12 votes would have empowered Chicago parents to get better education for their children.