ISBE

  • sims013119SPRINGFIELD – Property taxes will be lower for some homeowners and business owners in South Suburban communities thanks to a new state grant program that seeks to lift some of the burden on school districts that are heavily taxed.

    The Property Tax Relief Grant is part of the education funding reform package that has been put in place to level the playing field to better serve struggling school districts.

    “For far too long struggling communities were faced with paying higher property taxes in an attempt to provide students in the area a quality education, and more often than not the students still weren’t receiving adequate resources,” State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) said. “Going forward this program will provide the relief necessary to help keep families in Illinois and boost local economies.”

    Local school districts that are eligible for the grant include: 

    • Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215: $1,906,225.40
    • Lansing School District 158: $1,836,888.06
    • Bloom Township High School District 206: $2,168,029.38

    Eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30 to receive the grant. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then give the money to the school districts once they have received all of the abatement certificates.

    “This grant program is a crucial step to help change how we fund the education of our future leaders,” Sims said. “It is high time we shift some of the burden from property tax payers to the state in order to help provide a quality education to every student in Illinois, regardless of where they live.”

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • hastings 013119SPRINGFIELD – Homeowners and small businesses across the South Suburbs will see decreases in their property tax bills under a new state grant program that seeks to provide relief to school districts in high-taxed areas.

    State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) is proud to announce that community school districts received over $4.9 million dollars from the Property Tax Relief Grant that was included in the historic school funding reform law.

    The new school funding formula advocated for by Hastings has already provided millions of dollars in new state funds to school districts that need it the most. In the first year alone, the 19th State Senate District received nearly $20 million in additional state funding.

    “The people of the Southland are trying to do their very best to provide our children with an exceptional education and an excellent quality of life,” Hastings said. “Illinois’ families have a school funding formula in place to ensure schools are funded the right way to help homeowners find property tax savings and guarantee our children receive the best possible educational opportunities.” 

    Several local school districts will be eligible for the tax relief grant, including: 

    • Bremen Community High School District 228 ($3,541,127)
    • Rich Township High School District 227 ($2,736,497.20)
    • Homewood Flossmoor Community High School District 233 ($1,963,818.30)
    • Elementary School District 159 ($242,794.24)

    In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates.

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • cunningham 022817SPRINGFIELD – Home owners and small businesses in Chicago’s southwest suburbs will see a decrease in their property tax bills thanks to a new state grant program aimed at providing relief to school districts in high-taxed areas. 

    The Property Tax Relief Grant was a part of a historic school funding reform law that brought millions of dollars to school districts in dire need of funding.

    “Our communities should not be forced to choose between providing a high quality education for students and keeping property tax rates manageable for homeowners and businesses,” said State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “These grants will ensure that our students have access to a great education without paying for it at the expense of local taxpayers.”

    Several school districts in the 18th Senate District will be eligible for the tax relief grant, including: 

    • Evergreen Park Community High School District 231: $965,999.66
    • Community High School District 218: $5,788,140.28
    • Oak Lawn Community High School District 229: $2,125,024.36

    In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates.

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • bush 013019SPRINGFIELD – Homeowners and small businesses across Lake County will see decreases in their property tax bills under a new state grant program that seeks to provide relief to school districts in high-taxed areas.

    The Property Tax Relief Grant was included in the historic school funding reform law that has already provided millions of dollars in new state funds to school districts that need it the most. In the first year alone, schools in the 31st Senate District received $8.5 million in additional state funding.

    “For years, Lake County has had to rely heavily on property taxes to ensure our children have access to the best education possible,” State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) said. “As promised, the new school funding law is changing the way we fund our schools by increasing state support and relieving some of the local tax burden.”

    Several local school districts will be eligible for the tax relief grant, including: 

    • Zion-Benton Township High School District 126: $1,793,018.36
    • Grayslake Community High School District 127: $2,733,574.72
    • Zion Elementary School District 6: $1,095,379.59
    • Antioch Community High School District 117: $2,890,111.07

    In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates. 

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • hutchinson 051018SPRINGFIELD – Homeowners and small businesses across the South Suburbs will see decreases in their property tax bills under a new state grant program that seeks to provide relief to school districts in high-taxed areas.

    The Property Tax Relief Grant was included in the historic school funding reform law supported by Hutchinson that has already provided millions of dollars in new state funds to school districts that need it the most. In the first year alone, the 40th Senate District received nearly $10 million in additional state funding.

    “Communities with little property wealth have been forced to increase their taxes year after year, placing a high burden on homeowners and small businesses and cheating students out of a quality education,” State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) said. “For many South Suburban communities, this has only increased economic disinvestment and neighborhood stagnation.”

    Several local school districts will be eligible for the tax relief grant, including: 

    • Rich Township High School District 227 ($2,736,497)
    • Bloom Township H.S. District 206 ($2,168,029)
    • Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School District 233 ($1,963,818)
    • Park Forest School District 163 ($573,153)

    In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates.

    “The new funding law represents a fundamental shift in how we pay for education in Illinois,” Hutchinson said. “Reducing reliance on property taxes while increasing state support is the only way of ensuring no Illinois student is relegated to a sub-par education simply because of their ZIP code.”

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • harris 111518SPRINGFIELD – South Suburban homeowners and small businesses will see smaller property tax bills under a new state grant program for school districts in high-tax areas.

    The Property Tax Relief Grant was included in the historic school funding reform law that has already provided millions of dollars in new state funds to school districts that need it the most. In the first year of the program, public schools in the 15th Senate District will see $8.4 million in property tax relief.

    “One of the biggest hurdles to funding our schools is a lack of property wealth paired with high property taxes in the South Suburbs,” said State Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey). “This new program can help us solve that problem and bring more resources to our local schools and economic growth to our community.”

    Several local school districts will be eligible for the tax relief grant, including: 

    • Thornton Township High School District 205: $3,662,072.45
    • Ford Heights School District 169: $216,232.14
    • Bremen Community High School District 228: $3,541,127.33
    • Dolton School District 148: $1,050,639.44

    In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates.

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

     

  • sandoval 062018­SPRINGFIELD – Home owners and businesses in Argo Community High School District 217 will see a decrease in their property taxes as a result of a new state grant program for school districts in highly-taxed areas.

    The Property Tax Relief Grant was a part of a historic school funding reform law that brought millions of dollars to school districts in dire need of funding.

    “Homeowners and businesses should not have to pay exorbitant property taxes for our children to have access to a good education,” said State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), a longtime advocate of tax relief. “This grant helps ensure the success of our students without placing an undue burden on taxpayers.”

    Argo Community High School District 217 will receive over $1.8 million dollars from the new program.

    In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates.

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • manar 030218SPRINGFIELD – More than $16 million in state funds are available for rural and downstate schools to expand internet access and close the broadband gap, State Senator Andy Manar announced today.

    The Illinois State Board of Education is accepting proposals from school districts that need to expand high-speed broadband and Wi-Fi access in classrooms. Manar (D-Bunker Hill), chairman of one of the Senate’s two budget committees, ensured money was included in the current state budget to help rural school districts access broadband internet so they can offer a 21st century education to students. The effort had bipartisan support.

    “Schools can no longer get by without high-speed internet and digital resources in classrooms,” Manar said. “Students in many rural and downstate areas of Illinois are at a disadvantage because of the lack of reliable high-speed internet in classrooms and at home.”

    Applications for funding are available at www.isbe.net/broadband. They are due by 4 p.m. Jan. 25. The Learning Technology Center of Illinois www.ltcillinois.org is offering free assistance to school districts to help with their applications.

    In Illinois, 77 school districts need fiber connections, and 31 need bandwidth upgrades, according to Education Superhighway, an organization that advocates for increased connectivity in schools.

    The organization reports that more than 650,000 students in Illinois have gained access to high-speed internet since 2015 and that 96 percent of school districts have access to broadband now, up from 71 percent in 2015.

    However, more than 400,000 Illinois students remain at a disadvantage when it comes to digital learning.

    Fiber optic technology offers fast, affordable network speeds and allows school districts to cost-effectively scale up to meet growing bandwidth needs. The $16.3 million in available state funding will cover the costs of special construction projects for school districts with federal approval to install fiber optic cable lines.

    To find out which area school districts are in need of upgrades, visit https://www.compareandconnectk12.org/.

  • Sen. Jennifer Bertino TarrantSPRINGFIELD — A new law championed by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) will give the education community better representation on the Illinois State Board of Education.

    The new law will require that three of nine state board of education members are representatives of the educator community, ensuring more efficient implementation of the state’s education initiatives.

    “This new law will ensure that educators are at the table while we work to implement policies and standards to help give students the opportunity to be successful,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Our educators are on the frontlines. They have a good pulse on what works and doesn’t work in our classrooms. Their insight will help give the board a more rounded perspective.”

  • manar 052818SPRINGFIELD – Illinois should reassess how it awards pre-K grants after school districts throughout central Illinois were unexpectedly rejected for money they’ve long relied upon to run their programs, State Senator Andy Manar said Tuesday.

    “How can we ensure every student arrives at kindergarten ready to learn when the state is pulling the rug out from under school districts that are trying to help?” Manar said. “We have to ensure these grants get to the communities that need them the most so that we can continue to help the children who need it the most.”

    School districts throughout Illinois earlier this year were denied pre-K grants by the Illinois State Board of Education without warning, even though they have been receiving the grants for years.

    Bunker Hill CUSD 8 in Macoupin County is among those that were denied. Last year the district received $104,000 for its preschool program; this year it received $0. The district has received a pre-K grant since at least 1995, according to records.

    Manar said the Illinois State Board of Education cut Bunker Hill’s pre-K funding by 100 percent with no warning and little explanation. Half of all students in the district are considered low income.

    Studies show that early childhood education is vital to a lifetime of successful learning and that children from disadvantaged homes are less likely to attend preschool.

    Manar noted that the abrupt decision by ISBE to change the way it awards early childhood grants undercuts priorities identified in school funding reform discussions, including equity, poverty and need. ISBE’s new process benefits wealthy school districts that can afford to pay consultants to write their grant applications, he added.

    “Bunker Hill is not alone in this. Numerous rural and downstate communities are in the same boat, wondering how to move forward,” he said. “Like funding for K-12 schools, pre-K grants should be based on need, not on who wrote the best grant request.”

  • isbe approp 022718SPRINGFIELD – The governor’s plan to dump the state’s share of teacher pension costs on local school districts would have devastating effects on classrooms and learning throughout Illinois, state education officials said Tuesday.
     
    The testimony of State Superintendent of Schools Tony Smith and other education officials during a Senate budget hearing confirms what Democratic and Republican lawmakers have been saying since Gov. Bruce Rauner unveiled his budget plan Feb. 14.
     
    “The governor is playing the game of trickling expenses down to local districts. My school leaders are already facing high levels of unpredictability and uncertainty. They’re unable to carry a half-billion dollars in new spending that the governor is putting on them,” said State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, a Democrat from Plainfield and a member of the Senate Appropriations II Committee.

  • manar 031617State Senator Andy Manar is urging state education officials to submit a plan to disseminate the $350 million in additional state funding that was promised when a new school funding formula was signed into law Aug. 31.

    During a hearing Tuesday, members of the Senate’s Education Committee discussed the nearly 20 changes that the Illinois State Board of Education has suggested should be made to the new school funding formula.

  • manar teacher 111517SPRINGFIELD – Three Senate education leaders are urging the governor’s administration to expedite its study of the statewide teacher shortage and report its findings to the General Assembly by March 1.

     In a Nov. 14 letter addressed to Illinois State Board of Education Chairman James Meeks, State Senators Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Kimberly A. Lightford and Andy Manar ask the board to accelerate its inquiry into the crisis so that lawmakers will have enough time to craft and pass legislation that will help to address the matter prior to next school year.