Woodland school board member running for state legislature
Woodland Elementary District 50 board of education member Joyce Mason is running as a Democrat for state representative in northern Lake County's 61st District.
The Gurnee resident is seeking the seat held by Republican state Rep. Sheri Jesiel of Winthrop Harbor, who will run for re-election in 2018.
Mason, who won her first term on the Gurnee-based school district's board in April, acknowledged that it is a quick turnaround her to be campaigning for another political office.
But she said it is important for her to advocate for education funding reform in Springfield.
"We need real people to go to Springfield to bring back what representation should be instead of political games," Mason said. "Everybody in the district deserves to be listened to. We shouldn't be making decisions just for the wealthy in the district."
Jesiel called Mason's criticism a disingenuous talking point. She said she is working for job creation to help people of all income levels.
"From the affluent to the very economically challenged, a rising tide floats all boats, as they say," she said.
Mason said while the school funding formula compromise passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner in late August was a step in the right direction, she wants to continue pushing for changes to the formula.
"It is something we can't do at the (school) board level except for being advocates," Mason said.
Jesiel voted against the funding formula compromise.
"We are certainly not done with our work yet and look forward to continuing to represent them," Jesiel said.
Mason works as a career services specialist at the College of Lake County. She already has received the endorsement of the Lake County Federation of Teachers, which represents 5,500 educators.