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Manar’s historic school funding legislation signed into law

sb1947 sign group

SPRINGFIELD – After nearly four years that included hundreds of hours of testimony from parents, teachers and students and dozens of bipartisan meetings, an unprecedented overhaul of how Illinois funds public schools was signed into law earlier today.  State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) was the sponsor of the proposal, Senate Bill 1947, in the Senate. 

“Today, we are finally fixing the least equitable school funding formula in the entire country,” Manar said. “This law, which was a result of years of bipartisan negotiations,  wages war on poverty in the classroom by investing in our neediest students first. For the first time in generations, every student will finally have access to a quality education.”

IMG 1821 2“Thanks to the thousands of grassroots activists around the state, schoolchildren in poor rural counties and poverty-stricken urban areas will now have the same opportunities as their counterparts across the state,” Manar said.

Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton issued the following statement:

“This is a historic but long overdue first step. Today, this law ensures schools across Illinois open and stay open for the school year. Going forward, it declares our commitment to fairness and equity in funding public education across our great state.”

“After decades of inequality, Illinois will now move toward a bipartisan reform that is fair and gives all children, regardless of their ZIP code, a chance to succeed. This is monumental,” Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) said. “Under this new law­, our children parents, teachers and administrators will receive certainty and predictability that schools will remain open.”

"I'm glad the elements of the evidence-based funding formula we have been pushing for remained mostly intact," said School District U-46 CEO Tony Sanders. "Now that it has passed we can shift our attention to how we better serve kids across Illinois."

Senate Bill 1947 will allow school districts an opportunity to reduce property taxes through a voter referendum. The referendum would be a citizen’s initiative.

The bill became effective immediately after the governor signed it into law today.