Quigley Helps Illinois Keep Teachers and Provide Health Care
WASHINGTON -- Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL) voted to help pass a measure that will provide municipal governments across Illinois with much-needed relief to save jobs for teachers and support Medicaid providers. The deficit-reducing Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act is especially important to Chicago Public Schools (CPS), which will receive approximately $80 million to help close its budget gap and retain jobs. Illinois schools across the state will receive about $415 million of aid.
"Students and teachers in my District cannot be expected to bear the burden as Springfield works to get its fiscal house in order," said Quigley. "We need to make sure the state follows the spirit of the law and the benefits of these funds are felt directly in the classroom. I will continue to work in Washington to make sure the receipt of federal assistance does not result in cuts to Illinois' education budget."
A maintenance of effort provision in the bill mandates that funds specified for education purposes not only be spent directly on educational professionals, but also that state education budgets are not subsequently reduced as a result of the federal aid.
CPS currently faces a $370 million budget shortfall. It has reduced its support personnel by 1,200 and would have been forced to lay off up to 2,000 teachers without funding from the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act.
The bill reduces the deficit by $1.4 billion over the next 10 years by closing a loophole that actually encourages corporations to ship American jobs overseas. It also allocates $5.5 billion in health assistance to Illinois to provide Medicaid to the state's most vulnerable patients.