The Illinois House of Representatives is back in Springfield for special session today, as Democrats are expected to finally send the controversial education funding bill (Senate Bill 1) to the Governor’s desk, after sitting on it since May 31.

This article explains why Chicago politicians are hijacking the school funding bill to give property-wealthy Chicago more money. The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is broke and it is getting worse, not better. CPS has been mismanaged for decades. Senate Bill 1 bails them out. The article linked above explains how CPS taxpayers are getting taken to the cleaners. 

We should all be concerned for another reason. Check out this headline from the Illinois News Network: Education funding bill sets up another tax increase, lawmaker warns. You can click that headline to read the article, or click HERE. The last thing Illinois families need is yet another tax increase.

Here is another good article, where the author rightly calls out the need for school choice legislation, an issue I have championed and led on since I first came to Springfield in 2013. The author outlines two guiding principles: “First, make sure taxpayer money is focused on what’s best for students, not institutions. Second, liberate families by providing equal access to quality education.” We should all be able to get behind those principles.
A 32% Tax Hike wasn't enough, now the Democrats’ school funding formula will take that increase and send it to Chicago.

I have been involved with the school funding discussions since I arrived in Springfield 5 years ago. I led the fight against SB16 in 2014 and against subsequent bills which looked to nearly eliminate state funding from suburban districts.

I have been on three different education task forces.  Unfortunately, I was not appointed to the task force that proposed the evidenced based model being debated now.  I am certain this was done intentionally knowing I would never agree to this type of funding model and would have vigorously questioned every aspect of the formula as I have already done in committee.  Even Republicans were looking to pass "evidenced based" funding which I find concerning.
Rep. Jeanne Ives
WHEATON – Today, State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) called on Governor Rauner to veto SB1-- a bill that would reroute state school funds to pay down Chicago Public Schools’ massive debt, resulting in higher suburban property taxes -- as soon as it hits his desk. 

Ives stated, “This bill would enshrine into state law that suburban taxpayers bail out corrupt and mismanaged Chicago Public Schools (CPS) over the next generation.”

CPS holds $17,000,000,000+ in debt.

“They are a bloated, corrupt and mismanaged organization,” Ives said of CPS. “After CPS intentionally skipped pension payments for 10 years, it now owes $10 billion to current and future retirees. CPS has more than $7 billion in other debt at “junk” interest rates.”

Put in perspective, CPS has more than three times its total annual budget in debt.  It owes three times as much as the state will spend on public schools for all districts this year.
Rep. Jeanne Ives
The 583-page state budget bill that most legislators were only given 45 minutes or so to read before having to vote on it contains several “hidden” provisions that will cost taxpayers and local communities millions of dollars above and beyond the income tax hike that was passed the same day in a separate bill. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the most egregious hidden costs in the state’s new budget:

Gasoline tax hike
Politicians in Springfield snuck language into the budget that increases the state’s sales tax on gasoline by five cents per-gallon. You might think this additional revenue will go into a fund to pay for much-needed road repairs and highway safety projects, but you would be wrong. The extra gasoline sales tax revenue is going straight into the state’s general fund, where politicians can spend it on whatever they want. So much for transparency.