Sandoval BudgetSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate voted for progress for the second year in a row Wednesday, passing a balanced budget that funds universities, K-12 education and social services.

State Senator Martin A. Sandoval gave his support to the budget, which adds $350 million to the education funding formula and increases the state’s investment in higher education by 2 percent.

“We’ve gone through three difficult years in Illinois, and this budget goes a long way to putting our state back on the path to progress,” Sandoval said. “We were able to save programs aimed at the most vulnerable and increase funding for our highest-need schools. That’s what state government is here to do.”

Among the programs that were salvaged is the Child Care Assistance Program, which receives a 4.26 percent funding increase. Sandoval also voted to protect autism programs, homeless prevention services, the senior-based Community Care Program and several other necessary services.

Also included in the budget was $25 million for a new tuition grant program that provides additional assistance to Illinois students to remain in the state and attend public colleges and universities. Assistance would be based on merit and financial criteria. MAP, upon which many college students also depend to fund their education, will also be fully funded to last year's levels.

The $350 million added to K-12 education would fulfill the promise of last year’s monumental school funding reform, meaning every district in the state would receive more or equal money than it did a year ago. It would also add $50 million in early childhood education funding, bringing that total to nearly $500 million.

“Bottom line, this bill is not only beneficial to the people of Illinois, but it is directly beneficial to the people of the Southwest side of Chicago,” Sandoval said. “I hope the other chamber and the governor take action on this bill as soon as it reaches them. It’s good policy and it deserves to become law.”

Sandoval Commence WebSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) continued his lifelong mission to promote public education last week by voting for a bill to set a minimum wage level for public school educators.

The measure, Senate Bill 2892, would raise the minimum salary for public school educators for each of the next four school years until it hits $40,000 by the 2022-2023 year.
Sandoval, whose late sister Socorro was a public school educator and has a South Side public school named after her, said he was proud to support the progressive measure.
“Public school teachers are near and dear to my heart,” Sandoval said. “My sister Socorro was a public school teacher. She was killed in a car crash at just 28 years of age, but she touched many lives and made a great impact. Educators that carry on her legacy deserve support from the state in the form of a protected minimum wage.”
Sandoval has been an education advocate for decades, successfully leading a grassroots effort in the 1990s to turn a vacant plot of land at 55th Street and South St. Louis Avenue into what is now Socorro Sandoval Elementary School and a public use park space.
“Before I ever had a career in politics, I was fighting for public education, and this bill is an extension of those efforts,” he said. “The bottom line is public school teachers deserve to know raises are in their future.”

After the salary hits $40,000 in four years, salaries would increase according to the Consumer Price Index.
Sandoval said the bill will also help attract and retain enthusiastic educators.

“There are teachers in Illinois living below the poverty level,” Sandoval said. “If we don’t guarantee a decent salary, we’re not going to get young people to go into this profession in the first place.”

The proposal passed the Senate 37-16 with Sandoval as its co-sponsor and received bipartisan support. It will move to the House of Representatives for further action.

Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 12th District
111 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706

District Office:
5807 W. 35th Street
Cicero, IL 60804