Past Event

Our Taxes – where to spend them, how to share them

Where do our tax dollars go, and how can communities better advocate for the resources they need? Lawmakers in Springfield are now debating changes to the state funding formula, but the issue of equitable funding has long been a primary concern for Illinois schools, parents, and students.

Join us for a look at the complex and controversial issue
of school funding and learn about what you can do to ad- vocate for your community. Pauline Lipman (University of Illinois at Chicago) will be joined by Elgin students, parents, and community leaders in an interactive program to discuss school funding – from statewide policy to its local, everyday impact.

More on the participants:

Pauline Lipman is professor of Educational Policy Studies and Director of the Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on race and class inequality in education, globalization, and political economy of urban education, particularly the inter-relationship of education policy, urban restructuring, and the politics of race. She is currently Principal Investigator of a community research-public engagement project documenting effects of school closings on students, families, and communities in Chicago (supported by College of Education and Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement). She is a frequent contributor to community forums of parents and teachers in Chicago and nationally.

Raquel McCormick is the executive director of the Elgin-based Alignment Collaborative for Education, a community-wide organization focused on improving education outcomes for students in School District U-46. Prior to coming to ACE in November 2015, Raquel served 20 years with Metropolitan Family Services, a Chicago nonprofit social service agency for which she established and implemented community development activities, board and volunteer relations and service delivery strategies. ACE is focused on reducing high school dropouts, strengthening early childhood education and expanding career and technical education for the 21st century.

Arisleyda Taylor is a parent of two school-aged kids in the U-46 school district. She has served as both VP and President of her children’s’ PTO. She completed the two-year Hispanic Parent Leadership Institute (HPLI) and has presented at both national and international conferences of the Positive Behaviors Interventions and Supports, or PBIS. She is a current member of the Midwest PBIS network as well as the Association of Positive Behavior Supports. She is a girl scout leader and volunteers in her community.

Kerry Lester (series moderator) is a columnist and senior writer who focuses on the people who make the suburbs unique. She is proudest of a four-year project looking into a 2008 knife attack on an Elgin High School teacher from the perspectives of the teacher, the student who committed the crime, and the school district. Her subsequent investigation into school safety practices led to a 2012 change in state law. Lester has received awards from the Chicago Headline Club, the Chicago Journalists Association and the Inland Press Association. She appears frequently on local and national television and radio programs and has moderated a number of political debates.

More on Continuing Ed.: Parents and the Future of Illinois Public Schools

Continuing Ed. is a yearlong, statewide series working with parents, schools, and communities across the state – in Chicago, Decatur, Elgin, and Jackson County to move the conversation about public education back to parents. All Elgin events will be moderated by Kerry Lester of the Daily Herald. For the complete schedule and more information, see

If you require a sign interpreter or any other arrangements to fully participate in this program, please contact at least 72 hours in advance of the event. For more information, please call (312) 422-5580.