No Taxpayer Left Behind in Illinois

Published January 1, 2005

Citizens for Reasonable and Fair Taxes (CRAFT) believes there is a better way to fund education in Illinois. It supports a program it calls No Taxpayer Left Behind consisting of six elements:

No-Strike Law

Public school teachers would be forbidden from striking. Most states already ban teachers from striking.

Eliminate Tenure

It is next to impossible to remove a teacher that has attained tenure protection. In Illinois, teachers attain tenure after four years of service.

Revise Collective Bargaining Laws

Illinois law regarding collective bargaining with teachers is sometimes difficult to follow. When questions arise, the teacher unions are always happy to provide an interpretation. The law requires the school district to negotiate with the union, which has the power to strike, and dictates much of the negotiating. CRAFT argues this is why school boards often cave in to union demands.

School Choice

Most people’s basic sense of fairness says those who pay for something should have some say in how it works. Being able to remove a child from an underperforming school is a basic right that should not be for the wealthy alone, according to CRAFT.

Ban Forced Dues

Illinois law allows a local union, under terms of a negotiated contract with the school district, to force non-union teachers to pay for the union’s collective bargaining activities. These fees can represent a significant percentage of the total union dues. Under current state law, a teacher who does not join the union and has no participation in the collective bargaining process may be forced to pay for it anyway.

End State Subsidy of the TRS

Little-known to most taxpayers is the state-run Teacher Retirement System (TRS) fund. In recent years, Illinois has contributed almost $1 billion annually (above and beyond district-level contributions) to curb huge shortfalls in the TRS. Despite this huge influx of taxpayer cash, the TRS continues to lose ground.


For more information …

on CRAFT and HB 750, visit