As we look to close and finalize the year, I would like to thank all your teachers, principals, administrators, and you for your hard work and collaboration. Every day it is important to work towards a better tomorrow. If we wake up each day and find one way to make life better, then we can progress towards lives filled with happiness, hope, and results. Remember that our children are watching us always and learning from our behavior. As our children’s first teacher, through us they learn how to interact with others, how to socialize, how to give, and how to take. I encourage you to work on maintaining a good balance between work and fun. Often, we forget to slow down and enjoy what is around us. I can tell you from experience that the years that our children are young go by VERY, VERY quickly. By taking time to do even the small things (i.e. take a walk, go to the park, go out for ice cream, etc.) we impact and reaffirm our love and commitment to our children that they very much starve for.

Also, please note that the House has passed a new funding formula bill, SB1, and it is on the way to the Governor’s desk.  Some points of information and reference material that you can read to get more information regarding this can be found at  FundingIllinois’ Future is a coalition of more than 200 school districts, school superintendents, community- and faith-based organizations working toward fixing Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation school funding formula with the goal of giving every student in Illinois the education they deserve.

Finally, I know all of you have heard over and over about the Illinois budget and funding issues. Many were disappointed of the outcome of the schedule the last day of the 100th General Assembly Spring Session on May 31st. However, the work is NOT done! Our legislative team and leaders have given you ways to advocate and I urge you not to let your legislators off the hook. Please contact any of our State Board Members if you would like additional resources or training on advocacy. We as Illinois families and constituents deserve better so keep contacting them about the importance and gravity of the issue. Tell them how it personally affects you. They use those stories as they testify on the floor.

As always and in my final 30 days, I humbly serve to continue a smooth transition and appreciate ALL that you do to support our mission.

Here to serve,

Matthew John Rodriguez

Illinois PTA President