Teach Out for Illinois Higher Education Recap

Crowds from across Illinois traveled to Springfield on April 27 to demonstrate their frustration with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s policies and express how the budget impasse has been affecting them. Those that attended included faculty, staff, and students from colleges, universities, and unions all over Illinois.

The rally began early as demonstrators performed a teach out on the first floor rotunda of the State Capitol building, forming groups and sharing experiences with one another. Each person was able to give a personal account of how the lack of funding has hurt their schools, students, or jobs. Demonstrators from Eastern Illinois University were able to speak with members from Moraine Valley Community College, suburban schools were able to express to city schools how the budget impasse has affected them, and vice versa. Though the stories were individualized, they all shared a common thread: the budget impasse is destroying higher education.

The demonstration then moved outside in front of the State Capitol building. A massive crowd formed around the Lincoln statue as speakers launched a verbal assault against the Governor. Speakers included Democratic candidates for governor Daniel Biss and J.B. Pritzker, State Representative Chris Welch, Illinois Federation of Teachers Dan Montgomery, and several teachers and students from various colleges and universities.

Although the rally on April 27 was a strong show of force from the colleges, universities, and unions across Illinois, plenty more still needs to be done. We need a governor that respects public sector unions and will bolster public education. We must continue to push back against Governor Rauner’s destructive policies and we must stay united in doing so!

 

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