SB1

  • BertinoTarrant03072017SPRINGFIELD — Schools could see a positive change to the worst-in-the-nation school funding formula due to legislation that passed the Illinois General Assembly last week.

    “Senate Bill 1 was thoroughly vetted by education organizations throughout the state. It is a plan that will fix the worst funding formula in the country and will provide needed property tax relief to some school districts,” State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) said.

    “I am disappointed that the governor continues to play the blame game and partisan politics with our children’s education. I hope the governor reconsiders his threat of vetoing legislation that will provide not only needed funds for special education and low-income students, but will address other best practices such as low class sizes and counselors in schools.”

    Senate Bill 1 would be the first significant reform of the school funding mechanisms in more than 20 years.

    Prior to passing the Illinois Senate, estimates of what Senate Bill 1 would do to funding according to appropriations for the current school year were made public by the Illinois State Board of Education. It showed that no school district throughout the state would lose funding under the plan.

    The estimated overall gain that some area schools would experience under Senate Bill 1:

    • Oswego Community Unit School District 308 -- $4.77 million
    • Plainfield School District 202 -- $5.80 million
    • Troy Community Consolidated School District 30C -- $144,135
    • Joliet Township HS District 204 -- $1.65 million
    • Valley View CUSD #365U -- $1.61 million
    • Indian Prairie CUSD 204 -- $861,287
  • tcullerton 022817 178BARTLETT- State Senator Tom Cullerton passed a series of reforms to help lower Bartlett property taxes and ensure DuPage schools are fairly funded.

    Cullerton worked to pass a series of reforms that will lead to property tax savings through government consolidation measures, property tax relief and working to guarantee Illinois schools are funded the right way.

    Senate Bill 3, which will spread Cullerton’s bipartisan government consolidation model statewide, passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. This measure will allow counties to dissolve certain units of local government through a voter referendum.

    “My goal is to save money, reduce taxes and make sure government is working for the people,” Cullerton said “The best way to lower property taxes is to put government consolidation decisions in the hands of the people who receive the services. This one small step will lower property tax bills and streamline government services.”

    Cullerton supported Senate Bill 1, which will help schools such as U-46 and District 300, which have been shortchanged for decades under the existing education funding formula. These districts could soon see a significant increase of funding to level the playing field with neighboring school districts but not at the expense of other school districts. No school district in Illinois will lose funding under the new proposed formula.

    The increase in funding to schools passed by the Senate this legislative session will work toward giving schools in need of extra support based on an evidence-based model that accounts for factors such as students with disabilities and low-income students.

    U-46 Superintendent Tony Sanders joined superintendents, school administrators and educators across DuPage County and Illinois to support Senate Bill 1.

    “We’re grateful for all legislators who supported this significant school funding legislation but especially local legislators like Sen. Tom Cullerton. Senate Bill one is for us--the kids, families, and educators who make up the heart of U-46,” said Sanders. “SB1 aligns to the mission and values of the Governor's school funding reform commission. No district loses money but we’ll finally see equity in that state funds will better support both low-income and low property wealth districts."

    The state’s school funding formula has not been updated in more than 20 years and is considered one of the worst in the nation because it relies so heavily on local property taxes. Cullerton believes this funding plan will help DuPage residents in Bartlett, Carol Stream and Hanover Park see lower property tax bills.

    “Illinois needs to move toward a school funding system that is fair and gives all children, regardless of their ZIP code, a chance to succeed,” Cullerton said. “We are evening the playing field for children in districts such as U-46 and District 300 but not at the expense of the children attending other DuPage County school districts. This funding method will move Illinois from a formula with winners and losers to a system that gives all of the children across our communities an opportunity to succeed.”

    For a list of school districts in the 23rd Senate District, Cullerton urges area residents to call his Villa Park Office at (630) 903-6662 or visit www.SenatorTomCullerton.com.

  • castro 050417SPRINGFIELD — High-poverty school districts, shortchanged for decades under Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation education funding formula, could see a significant influx of funding to level the playing field with wealthier suburban districts under a landmark school funding reform measure that passed in both houses of the legislature this week.

    “Nobody disputes that our funding formula in Illinois is outdated and unfair. Senate Bill 1 will bring millions of dollars to Elgin schools and provide millions more in property tax relief for homeowners,” said State Sen. Cristina Castro. “I urge Gov. Rauner to sign it into law as soon as he receives it.”

    Under the legislation, School District 300 would receive an additional $1.6 million. School District 46 would receive an additional $14.5 million and an estimated $20.6 million in property relief to homeowners.

    Senate Bill 1 received support from thousands of school administrators, superintendents, principals, educators, taxpayers and advocates for fair school funding. It would be the first adjustment to the state’s school funding formula in more than 20 years. Currently Illinois labors under a system considered one of the worst in the nation because of its disproportionate reliance on local property wealth.

    An analysis of Illinois State Board of Education figures this week by Funding Illinois’ Future – a coalition that advocates for school funding reform – shows potential funding increases for local school districts under Senate Bill 1. Factors such as a school district’s numbers of students with disabilities, English language learners and low-income students figure into the funding model.

    The legislation also provides extra support for the neediest districts and offers property tax relief. Under the legislation, no school district would receive less funding under Senate Bill 1 than they have received under Illinois’ current school funding formula. The measure awaits the governor’s signature to become law.

  • mulroe 031617SPRINGFIELD – Illinois school districts that have struggled for decades under Illinois’ education funding formula may soon see increased funding under legislation to implement a new funding model supported by State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago). Illinois is currently ranked worst in the nation for school funding.

    “I proudly supported this measure, which will provide additional funding to public schools, with special attention given to those in need,” Mulroe said. “Education is supposed to be the great equalizer, but under our current school funding formula, it is not. Senate Bill 1 will ensure that high-poverty school districts that have been shortchanged for years would see greater funding to level the playing field.”

    Senate Bill 1 implements an evidence-based model for school funding, which accounts for factors such as students with disabilities, English language learners and low-income students. It provides additional support for the neediest districts in the quest for adequate funding. Illinois currently operates under a school funding formula that has not been updated in 20 years and relies heavily on local property taxes. Under Senate Bill 1, high-tax school districts are also eligible for property tax relief up to 1 percent of their EAV.

    No school district would receive less funding under Senate Bill 1 than they have received under Illinois’ current school funding formula.

    An analysis of Illinois State Board of Education figures released by Funding Illinois’ Future, a school funding reform advocate, shows potential funding increases for all local school districts in the tenth Senate district under Senate Bill 1.

    To review the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis, visit fundingilfuture.org.

  • bush 022817SPRINGFIELD – Lake County school districts, some of which have been shortchanged for decades under Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation education funding formula, will see a significant influx of funding under a landmark school funding reform measure that passed in Springfield last week.

    “All children should have access to a quality education regardless of their zip code,” said Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake). “With Senate Bill 1, we created a more equitable school funding formula to aid school districts desperately in need of additional dollars, while ensuring that at a minimum we guaranteed current funding levels for every school district.”

    Senate Bill 1 has strong support from thousands of school administrators, superintendents, principals, educators, taxpayers and advocates for fair school funding. Illinois’ school funding formula has not been updated in more than 20 years and is considered one of the worst in the nation because it relies so heavily on local property wealth.

    “Senate Bill 1 not only ensures schools will be funded more equitably, it also provides property tax relief for high tax school districts,” Bush said. “Lake County has some of the highest property taxes in the country. I urge Governor Rauner to provide property tax relief for Lake County residents by signing Senate Bill 1 into law.”

    Funding Illinois’ Future – a coalition that advocates for school funding reform – released an analysis of Illinois State Board of Education figures last week. The analysis showed potential funding increases for local school districts under Senate Bill 1, an evidence-based model that accounts for factors such as students with disabilities, English language learners and low-income students.

    It also provides extra support for the neediest districts in the quest for adequate funding, and it offers property tax relief.

    Again, no school district would receive less funding under Senate Bill 1 than they have received under Illinois’ current school funding formula.

    The estimated overall gain some area school districts would experience under the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis of SB1 based on FY17 funding levels:

    • Round Lake Area School District 116 – $5.52 million
    • Zion-Benton Township High School District 126 – $1.95 million
    • Zion Elementary School District 6 – $1.62 million
    • Beach Park Community Consolidated School District 3 – $645,463
    • Grayslake Community Consolidated School District 46 – $353,068
    • Grayslake Community High School District 127 – $307,304
    • Warren Township High School District 121 – $282,621
    • Big Hollow School District 38 – $230,977
    • Wauconda Community Unit School District 118 – $215,152
    • Woodland Community Consolidated School District 50 – $192,036
    • Antioch Community Consolidated School District 34 – $90,190
    • Gavin School District 37 – $62,538
    • Millburn Community Consolidated School District 24 – $40,925
    • Winthrop Harbor School District 1 – $22,473

    In addition, under Senate Bill 1, those that live in the school districts with the highest property taxes would be eligible for property tax relief up to 1 percent of their EAV. The following districts are projected to qualify for property tax relief:

    • Grayslake Community Consolidated School District 46 – $3.96 million
    • Round Lake Area School District 116 – $3.61 million
    • Grayslake Community High School District 127 – $2.71 million
    • Beach Park Community Consolidated School District 3 – $2.27 million
    • Zion-Benton Township High School District 126 – $1.82 million
    • Zion Elementary School District 6 – $1.05 million
    • Wauconda Community Unit School District – $109,162

    These estimates are based on the funding levels proposed by the Illinois House of Representatives. As a result, these numbers may be higher than what the school districts will receive. To review the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis, visit fundingilfuture.org.

  • harris 030917SPRINGFIELD – High-poverty suburban school districts, shortchanged for decades under Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation education funding formula, could see a significant influx of funding to level the playing field with wealthier suburban districts under a landmark school funding reform measure that recently passed in both houses of the legislature.

    “I eagerly joined my colleagues in support of a plan that fixes the inequitable way we fund public schools in. It also makes sure no schools see any loss of funding and offers property task relief to struggling homeowners. There is no reason Governor Rauner should not sign this legislation as soon as it gets to his desk,” Illinois said State Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey).

    Senate Bill 1 has strong support from thousands of school administrators, superintendents, principals, educators, taxpayers and advocates for fair school funding. Illinois’ school funding formula has not been updated in more than 20 years and is considered one of the worst in the nation because it relies so heavily on local property wealth.

    Funding Illinois’ Future – a coalition that advocates for school funding reform – released estimates based on an analysis of Illinois State Board of Education figures. The analysis shows potential funding increases for local school districts under Senate Bill 1, an evidence-based model that accounts for factors such as students with disabilities, English language learners and low-income students.

    It also provides extra support for the neediest districts in the quest for adequate funding, and it offers property tax relief.

    No school district would receive less funding under Senate Bill 1 than they have received under Illinois’ current school funding formula.

    The estimated overall gain some area school districts would experience under the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis of SB1 based on FY17 funding levels:

    • Bremen Community High School District 228 - $2.9 million
    • Brookwood School District 167 - $449,799
    • Crete Monee Community Unit School District 201U – $447,217
    • Dolton School District 148 – $512,762
    • Harvey School District 152 - $626,447
    • Hazel Crest School District 152-5 - $381,697
    • Homewood School District 153 – $152,265
    • Midlothian School District 153 - $937,556
    • Posen-Robbins Elementary School District 143-5 - $865,816
    • South Holland School District 151 - $365,484
    • Steger School District 194 – $638,686
    • Thornton Township High School District 205 - $1.7 million
    • West Harvey-Dixmoor Public School District 147 - $558,879

    In addition, under Senate Bill 1, high-tax school districts are eligible for property tax relief up to 1 percent of their EAV. Estimated property tax relief for two area school districts:

    • Bremen Community High School District 228 - $3.9 million
    • Brookwood School District 167 - $1 million
    • Crete Monee Community Unit School District 201U - $3 million
    • Dolton School District 14 - $1.1 million
    • Ford Heights School District 169 – $228,369
    • Hazel Crest School District 152-5 – $681,918
    • Homewood School District 153 - $2 million
    • South Holland School District 150 - $224,619
    • South Holland School District 151 - $1.4 million
    • Steger School District 194 - $224,619
    • Thornton Township High School District 205 - $3.8 million
    • West Harvey-Dixmoor Public School District 147 - $488,309

    To review the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis, visit fundingilfuture.org.

  • cunningham 031517SPRINGFIELD – School districts throughout the southwest suburbs and the state, ignored by Illinois’ worst-in-the nation education funding formula, could soon see an increase in state aid under a reform measure that passed the Illinois General Assembly last week.

    “I was proud to stand in support of Senate Bill 1, a measure that will fix the worst funding formula in our country. We needed a real solution that not only properly funded our schools but also delivered property tax relief to high-tax districts—and we have done that with this legislation,” said State Senator Bill Cunningham.

    Senate Bill 1 was vetted by multiple organizations throughout the state. It had the support of superintendents, school boards and teachers. If signed by the governor, it would be the first significant update to the funding formula in more than 20 years.

    Earlier this week, the Illinois State Board of Education released estimates for each school district and showed that no school district in the state would see less state funding under Senate Bill 1 when compared to the current funding formula.

    It also provided extra support for those in need and offered additional property tax relief.

    The estimated overall gain that area school districts would experience under Senate Bill 1 based on the current-year funding levels:

    • Chicago Ridge School District 127-5 -- $880,000
    • Community High School District 218 -- $409,448
    • Cons High School District 230 -- $209,950
    • North Palos School District 117 -- $315,924
    • Oak Lawn Community HS District 229 -- $135,174
    • Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 -- $146,644
    • Worth School District 127 -- $193,129

    In addition, Senate Bill 1, high-tax school districts would be eligible for property tax relief up to 1 percent of their EAV. Estimated relief for five area school districts:

    • Chicago Ridge School District 127-5 -- $573,844
    • Community High School District 218 -- $6.62 million
    • North Palos School District 117-- $4.01 million
    • Oak Lawn Community HS District 229 -- $2.51 million
    • Worth School District 127 -- $1.11 million

    Senator Cunningham represents portions of Worth, Orland and Palos Townships in the southwest suburbs and the neighborhoods of Mt. Greenwood, Beverly, Morgan Park and Auburn-Gresham in Chicago. 

  • koehler 031617Peoria-area schools could see increases in state funding under the new school funding formula passed by the General Assembly. The new formula, passed as Senate Bill 1, prioritizes new money to schools furthest from equity. 

    Some of those school districts that could see large increases include Peoria, Pekin, Canton and Limestone. Under SB 1, major Peoria-area schools are estimated to get the following amounts:

    Canton Union Dist. 66

    $762,658

    Limestone Community High Dist. 310

    $539,074

    Pekin Community High Dist. 303

    $727,431

    Pekin Public Schools Dist. 108

    $544,824

    Peoria Public Schools Dist. 150

    $1,812,332

     

    Under the same plan, due to its classification as a high-tax district, East Peoria Community High School District 309 could potentially see property tax relief because of increased state aid.

    State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) voted for the new formula, citing the need of downstate Illinois school districts with low property wealth.

    “It is no secret that our school funding formula leaves far too many students behind simply because they live in a poor school district,” Koehler said. “This new formula will make sure children in all environments; urban, suburban and rural, are able to get an education at a school that is fairly funded.” 

    SB 1 also contains a hold-harmless provision that guarantees no schools will receive less money from the state. 

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  • willco fakenewsSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement in response to inaccurate school funding numbers being published as fact for Will County in regards to Senate Bill 1:

    “This is an attempt by the political arm of the Republican Party to rouse suspicion and derail years of hard work in reforming the way we fund our schools. The Will County Gazette is partisan pandering made to look like real, honest journalism.

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  • martinez 051917SPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) criticized Secretary of Education Beth Purvis for pitting the students in Chicago Public Schools against students in the rest of the state in her opposition to the Senate’s recently passed school funding reform bill.

    “Governor Rauner and his administration think that some children don’t deserve the same chance. Apparently the children in Chicago Public Schools did something wrong, by being lower-income, by being black or brown, and don’t deserve equal opportunity,” Martinez said at a press conference this morning. “It is our responsibility as legislators to make sure that the circumstances children are born into do not dictate the education they receive. It is our job to stand up for every child in our state.”

    Martinez joined several other Democratic senators in calling for the Executive Inspector General of Illinois to investigate the distribution of state materials from Rauner’s administration to a political group funded by the governor’s campaign.

    State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), the bill’s sponsor, said at the press conference that documents incorrectly portraying the funding schools in Kankakee County would receive were sent to a politically-motivated publication. Manar had seen the documents on Thursday in a meeting with Rauner and had pointed out their errors.

    The Rauner administration has been vocal in its opposition to Manar’s legislation, claiming it “bails out” Chicago Public Schools.

    “I’m tired of hearing the term ‘bailing out CPS,’” Martinez said. “Let me remind Governor Rauner and Beth Purvis that the Chicago Public School District is the third-largest school district in the nation. Shame on the administration that cannot look at this picture for all children across the state and see that every child deserves the same education.”

    SB 1 replaces the state’s current school funding formula with an evidence-based model. It  passed the Senate 35-18 on Wednesday with no Republican support.

  • manar 051917SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar is urging Illinois school superintendents to be aware that misleading figures are being peddled about Senate Bill 1, the school funding plan that passed in the Illinois Senate this week.

    Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office this afternoon acknowledged the figures are inaccurate and outdated but stopped short of denouncing them.

    “This appears to be a textbook example of fake news. I am disturbed as to how and why this information was put out there and framed as official information from the Rauner administration, clearly with the intent of confusing and misleading people about Senate Bill 1,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat.

    “Senate Democrats have asked the executive inspector general to look into that, but right now I want to make sure school superintendents are aware that outdated information is fraudulently being passed off as up-to-date news about Senate Bill 1.

    “Furthermore, I hope Gov. Rauner and Education Secretary Beth Purvis will follow our lead and alert school officials about this misleading information to set the record straight. Anything less makes them complicit in a concerted effort to jeopardize Illinois’ shot at achieving meaningful school funding reform.”

  • hutch 051917SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) joined her colleagues in Springfield today expressing their concern with fraudulent information being reported on a school funding reform proposal by a political group associated with the governor.

    “Children in Kankakee County deserve nothing less than the best that we can give them,” Hutchinson said. “When false information is reported by a political group posing as a legitimate news organization in an effort to derail years of work to properly fund all school districts, it’s the children who ultimately suffer.”

    Earlier this week, the Senate passed Senate Bill 1, which will dramatically reform the way Illinois funds public schools. The provision included a “hold harmless” provision, meaning that while some school districts will receive increased state aid, no school district would lose money under the plan.

    This morning, Hutchinson joined five of her colleagues in signing a letter to the Executive Inspector General calling for an investigation into how state documents regarding school funding reform made their way to a political group associated with the governor.

    “I will meet anyone on the merits. But don’t lie,” Hutchinson said. “The information that was published is not even based on the bill that was voted on. In a time of great angst and division in our state, this does nothing to advance the kind of solutions our communities are begging for us to deliver.”

  • hastings 051917SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) is outraged at Governor Rauner’s administration for leaking false education funding numbers to one of his many political operations.

    Hastings is joining his colleagues in urging the Illinois Executive Inspector General to investigate the misuse of state resources. 

    “Governor Rauner is bringing Washington politics to Springfield,” Hastings said. “Governor Rauner has compromised his integrity, information and is hindering our children’s ability to succeed. All of Illinois’ children should receive a fair chance to receive a good education regardless of their financial or socioeconomic background.”

    The Illinois Senate passed Senate Bill 1, school funding reform, on Wednesday, May 17.

    During the Senate debate, Hastings was informed that the governor’s administration did not have finalized accurate funding levels for school districts.

    However, on Thursday night, one of the governor’s many political organizations starting contacting school districts throughout Illinois with false numbers to campaign against senators who voted in support of giving students across Illinois the opportunity to succeed.

    “This is not the first example of the governor’s misuse of state funds,” Hastings said. “Within the last two months we have unveiled a $2.4 million warehouse leasing deal to benefit his buddies and using state resources for political purposes. What is next?”

    Under Senate Bill 1, schools throughout the state would not see a decrease in funding. However, schools that are not at proper funding levels will receive an increase in state dollars to ensure children across Illinois are given the opportunity to receive a good education regardless of the zip code they live in.

    “This is a clear violation of state law,” Hastings said. “Entities that receive state dollars cannot use the Illinois taxpayers’ dollars to campaign. We need to find who is responsible for attempting to sabotage negotiations to move our state forward and give our children a better future.”

    Illinois Senate Democrats sent a letter to the Illinois Executive Inspector General asking for a formal investigation.

    “Governor Rauner, stop screwing around,” Hastings said. “The children of Illinois need you to stop campaigning and do your job. They cannot afford to wait.”

  • manar fix 051717SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), a widely respected advocate for fair school funding in Illinois, issued the following statement regarding criticism leveled by the Rauner administration today immediately following the Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 1, a school funding reform measure sponsored by Manar:

    “The Rauner administration and Republicans want to behave like this is a vexing new problem that Illinois has never tried to tackle before. The truth is this is a more than 20-year-old problem that we have studied to death, repeatedly debated and willfully ignored.

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  • manar lgdfTAYLORVILLE – Illinois’ outdated, unfair system of school funding is forcing Taylorville public schools to consider laying off teachers and staff, consolidate schools and eliminate athletic programs. Taylorville Community Unit School District 3 is faced with the challenge of cutting $680,000 from its budget under a state system that defunds downstate school districts.

    State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), Representative Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) and Taylorville CUSD 3 Superintendent Gregg Fuerstenau spoke out for the need at a press conference at North Elementary School on Tuesday.

    “The state is failing Taylorville. The school board and the district are doing everything they can to make due with less and have been taking extremely difficult financial decisions for years. Regardless of these savings the schools are being strangled by a funding system that has no connection to the realities of teaching students,” Manar said.

    “We have great teachers and staff and provide our students with the best resources that we can afford. But we can only do so much under Illinois' unfair school funding structure. Our students are in desperate need of a balanced funding structure that treats down state students fairly. A student’s zip code should not matter,” Fuerstenau said.

    “As a public school teacher for more than 30 years, I know firsthand how students are harmed by inadequate funding and resources," Scherer said.

    "It’s a struggle for any teacher to give individualized attention to his or her students and meet each child’s unique needs. Research shows that large class size is the number one detriment to teaching and learning, and to backslide into large class sizes would only short students of many opportunities for growth. It is unconscionable for the state to do anything other than fairly and equally fund all schools, no matter where the students come from,” Scherer said.

    The Illinois State Board of Education has recognized the district for its sound finances.

    Taylorville teachers already take home smaller paychecks than the statewide average and the district’s administrative costs are within the lowest 10 percent of unit districts in the state.

    To educate students, the school district can only afford to spend $7,163 dollars per student, well below the state average of $12,521. Students and teachers must also cope with above average class sizes.

    The state has made minor improvements to increase funding to districts like Taylorville. This year’s state school budget set aside extra money for financially distressed school districts. Under this increase Taylorville schools receive an additional $53,000.

    Despite increased funding and cost-cutting measures, the district is still facing the difficult decision to cut another $680,000.

    Manar is the sponsor of Senate Bill 1, a complete overhaul of the state’s school funding system that prioritizes funding for school districts like Taylorville based on the needs of their students. Under the reform plan, Taylorville public schools could see an additional $1.07 million in annual state aid.