A Day of Advocacy: EBF Funding Rally in Springfield

Over 150 advocates from across Illinois–including more than 40 dedicated parents and students from Kids First Chicago–converged on Springfield to champion an increase in the Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) formula to at least $550 million.

By Claiborne Wade | May 6, 2024 |
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On the beautiful morning of Wednesday, May 1st, over 150 advocates from across Illinois–including more than 40 dedicated parents and students from Kids First Chicago–converged on Springfield to champion an increase in the Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) formula to at least $550 million. This diverse group of parents, students, and educators came from all over Illinois, including Chicago, Cicero, Collinsville, Monmouth, Vienna, and Springfield.

Our voices were amplified by the support of EBF legislative champions, including Representative Will Davis, Senator Adriane Johnson, Senator Karina Villa, Representative Will Guzzardi, Representative Joyce Mason, Representative Laura Faver Dias, and members of the Funding Illinois' Future Coalition, such as Ed Fletcher, Monmouth-Roseville Superintendent, and Jaqueline Vargas, a Parent Advisory Board member at Kids First Chicago. Together, we rallied to demand increased investment in our children’s future–investment that the state committed to in 2017, but has not fully followed through on.

The day also included conversations with State Senators Omar Aquino and Celina Villanueva, as well as State Representatives Cyril Nichols, Dagmara Avelar, Katie Stuart, Sonya Harper, Aaron Ortiz, Litesa Wallace, Theresa Mah and LaShawn Ford. These discussions provided an opportunity for families to directly communicate the importance of increased funding to legislators who can influence the outcome.

Despite Illinois facing budget constraints, we are unwavering in our pursuit. We recognize the challenge in asking legislators for more funds when budgets are tight, but investing in education should be their top priority—there is no greater cause.


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This rally not only represented a fight for funding but was also an opportunity to show my children how to stand up for their beliefs and drive change within our communities.

What does $550 million mean for Illinois? It means ensuring every school has librarians and up-to-date textbooks. It means all schools can employ parent workers to provide our educators and students with more support. And it means that all Illinois students can receive the best possible education to compete globally.

Our solidarity on May 1 demonstrated that when we come together, we have the power to create the change we desire: a brighter, more promising future for all of our children.

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