Representative Jeanne Ives to Partner with Senator Michael Connelly for SB16 Forum in Wheaton

State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) and Senator Michael Connelly (R-Wheaton) will partner on October 9 for a community forum about SB16, a controversial rewrite of the school funding formula. As written and approved in the Illinois Senate, SB16 would divert millions in General State Aid (GSA) dollars away from hundreds of Illinois school districts.

The event is open to the public and will begin at 7:00 PM in the Wheaton Warrenville South High School Auditorium, 1993 Tiger Trail in Wheaton. Ives and Connelly will be joined at the event by State Superintendent of Education Christopher Koch, Chief Financial Officer for the Illinois State Board of Education Robert Wolfe, and other Elementary & Secondary Education experts. Several State Representatives and Senators from affected districts will also be in attendance.

“I know that in DuPage County alone $140 million in General State Aid would be diverted away from the county and toward the Chicago Public Schools and downstate schools,” said Ives. “General State Aid money comes from the taxpayers of Illinois and this is an unfair reallocation of those dollars.”

SB16 passed in the Illinois Senate in May but was not called for a vote in the House of Representatives. However, House Democrats have been meeting throughout the summer and fall with education advocacy groups to determine how to best resurrect the bill. It is likely that a revised form of the bill will surface during the General Assembly’s November Veto Session.

“I recognize and fully support the need for comprehensive and equitable education funding reform, but SB16 is not the answer,” said Ives. “SB16 simply creates a new list of funding ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ by funding struggling districts at the expense of suburban taxpayers who already pay a disproportionate share of the cost of education in this state.”

According to Ives, the drastic decrease in funding for education locally would have a devastating effect on school districts across the area. “Revenue decreases at the levels included in SB16 would lead to widespread teacher layoffs and the need for costly referendums to raise taxes locally,” she said. “The taxpayers I represent are already overtaxed and stretched to their limits, so further increases to their local tax bills is not a realistic solution. My hope is that legislators are interested in taking the time needed address the school funding issue in a comprehensive manner rather than relying on this quick-fix attempt to divert money into select districts.”

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