We'll never get to where we want to be in Illinois unless we more strongly embrace our future success, and we do that through education. I have fought year after year for appropriate funding for suburban schools, and that fight has paid off. I wholeheartedly support increased funding for early childhood education because with the right direction early on, students can and will succeed in even the most challenging situations outside the classroom. I'm working on special education funding and corporate property tax appeals to ensure we're capitalizing on the funding available and providing the resources necessary to meet our most critical needs.
I'm disappointed we have not made as much progress in funding reform as I had hoped in the last few years. But I believe that can and will change as soon as we can make the substantial changes in our budget that I'm leading the charge on. In the reform debate, we need a data-driven approach where we examine why schools are successful and why they are not, and steer resources to meet the dire needs. We must also lead from Springfield by embracing the differences in education in our diverse state, rather than forcing bureaucratic mandates that squander our success stories.