Rauner visits NCWHS


Micaela Harris

Principal Dave Johnson (right) poses with Illinois governor Bruce Rauner (left) for a picture during the governor’s visit to NCWHS.

Micaela Harris, Editor in Chief

On Thursday, May 12, 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner briefly visited Normal Community West High School. Arriving at 1:30 pm, Rauner was out of the building by 2:30 pm; within that hour, he managed to stroll through various parts of the building, speak to a group of students, and hold a press conference.

Seemingly, the visit was a publicity stunt to further promote the governor’s “support of public education”. With the backdrop of a music classroom behind him, Rauner told the media that he will not support state senator Andy Manar’s proposed education funding formula. The bill is unfair according to Rauner: “Normal high schools shouldn’t be cut while the City of Chicago gets significantly more money. That’s wrong.”

Superintendent Dr. Mark Daniel stated that if Manar’s formula was put into place, Unit 5 would lose over $8 million.

Despite the governor’s optimism, Illinois will most likely not have a budget prior to May 31, which is when the legislature adjourns. Manar’s formula was hoped to be the light at the end of the tunnel, however Rauner’s official word to veto the bill leaves lawmakers with no viable options and Illinois students with no guarantee that their schools will open in the fall.

Contrary to the urgency of the matter, Rauner’s address to the students of Normal West was quite normal. Illinois’ 42nd governor touched on state spending, corruption and his hopes for the future. However when fielding questions from Wildcats,  Rauner gave lengthy, broad responses which directed the focus away from the actual answer.

Principal Dave Johnson and superintendent Mark Daniel both were concerned with some of the governor’s vagueness and hope that he fulfills his promises for the sake of Illinois students. Johnson commented: “I believe it [education] is a true goal for him and while I’m not sure about the methods of getting there, I understand more the priority that he places on education.”

Sophomore Sophia Downes left the auditorium with a greater respect for Rauner: “I realized we do have similar views. I find it admirable that he cares so much about the people of this state that he is willing to compromise.”

Social Studies chair, Tracy Freeman, brought a class down to listen Rauner speak and found it to be very beneficial for the students to hear information that affects them, directly from the source. Freeman added: “I disagree, as many teachers do, with his proposals for some changes that directly impact schools and teachers.”
While many do and don’t agree with the governor politically, it is hard to deny his kindness, warmth and genuine concern for the state. Rauner isn’t taking a salary or pension, so while it is easy to label him as another corrupt Illinois politician, remember that before pointing fingers. Illinois is a mess, but nothing will change by blaming each other. For the sake of our children, we must work together, so that we can make Illinois great again.

Micaela Harris
Governor Bruce Rauner addresses the media during a press conference in the NCWHS orchestra classroom.
Governor Rauner inspects district technology during touring the Normal West library.
Micaela Harris
Governor Rauner inspects district technology during touring the Normal West library.