To: Governor J.B. Pritzker

Governor Rauner, stop the cuts and make the rich pay their fair share!

Rauner’s cuts hurt communities. We need a responsible budget that reflects our priorities and asks everyone to pay their fair share to help fund Illinois’ schools.

Why is this important?

Governor Rauner has proposed drastic cuts to crucial programs in Illinois, balancing the state budget on the backs of working families before asking the wealthy to pay their fair share. Among other things, his plan will result in teacher layoffs, forcing class sizes and property taxes to swell. We demand Governor Rauner stop these cuts and support a simple solution: the Millionaire’s Tax, a proposal requiring a 3% surcharge on income over $1 million, to direct additional funding to education.

Instead, in order to fund tax breaks for the rich and corporations, Rauner's budget — by and for the 1% — will eliminate these programs in Fiscal Year 2016:

- Advanced Placement programs

- Agricultural education

- Arts and foreign language education

- After School Matters, a Chicago-area after-school program renowned for its success

- Alternative education that helps struggling students get back on track

And it isn't just K-12 on the chopping block. The Governor also wants to make these deep cuts to higher education:

- A 31.5% cut from each public university in Illinois (almost $400 million in general funds across the board)

- A 50% cut to the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program

- Elimination of numerous need-based scholarship programs

- Flat Funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP)

These cuts will be detrimental to teaching and learning in Illinois. More than 63% of voters supported the Millionaire’sTax proposal on the ballot in November. We urge Governor Rauner to listen to the people, support the Millionaire’s Tax to generate revenue, and sign it into law when it hits his desk.