If You Thought the Tax Hike was Bad (and it is), Wait Until You See SB 1.

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.

Governor Rauner has called us back to Springfield today so that we can finalize a new education funding formula as dictated by the booby-trapped budget bill that passed.  The budget says there will be no school funding for K-12 unless an evidenced based funding model is passed. With less than a month before school opens, Madigan and Cullerton are holding schools hostage to their bailout bill for Chicago. The Chicago Tribune has the story HERE.

Here are a series of stories that tie together and show you the pitfalls of this bill.

First, my press release on the bill is linked HERE

IPI article about Evidenced Based Model Failed in other states (Click HERE)

Chicago City Wire on SB1 Bails Out CPS (Click HERE)

SB1 Micro-Manages School Operations (Click HERE)

SB1 Chicago Bailout Explained in Terms Everyone Can Understand.  A Must Read. (Click HERE)

SB1 is full of big government mandates and rhetoric.  There are no accountability measures that focus on student achievement. Rather the focus is on spending in the right educational "buckets."  How ridiculous is that?

This summer I have been working to accumulate statewide data on every school district related to spending and student outcomes. The information is enlightening and I hope to take this data and present a different plan to increase resources for disadvantaged school districts that do need additional state support.  At the same time, any funding bill should be releasing schools of unfunded mandates, ensuring local control remains in place, and most importantly using student performance to measure success and not allegiance to some complex bureaucratic formula.

Please stay tuned - this is an important topic for all in Illinois.

Jeanne

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