Though the governor has said he supports school choice, he didn’t include that in this month’s budget address, and that was a missed opportunity, according to the Heartland Institute.

Early and K-12 education funding was a big theme from Governor Bruce Rauner earlier this month in his budget address to lawmakers where the governor talked about providing a record level of funding and working to address the funding formula.

While some criticized the governor for not addressing higher education during his budget address, Lennie Jarratt, the Heartland Institute’s project manager for education transformation, said the speech was short on support for giving parents and students more choice on where to get quality education, which is regrettable.

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“He has the bully pulpit basically at that point,” Jarratt said. “So more people are paying attention, all the legislators are sitting there listening to him. All the media is there.”

Since the budget address, the governor has said in other venues that he supports more school choice but the Heartland Institute said where his support would have had a greater impact would have been during the budget address.

“It was a missed opportunity,” Jarratt said. “The budget address, you should talk about what you really want to do, how you want to do it.”

While Jarratt said there are objectors who think school choice will take away from traditional schools, school choice is workable.

“There’s ways to make this work that don’t involve just continue raising taxes or increasing monies that go into traditional public schools,” Jarrett said.


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