Get the Facts on Illinois' New School Funding Compromise

Invest in Kids Act

SB 1947 passed the Illinois House on a vote of 73-34-3 and passed the Senate on a vote of 38-13-4. This legislation fundamentally reforms the school funding formula for the first time in 20 years and provides additional resources to support our schools across Illinois in a fair and equitable way. Here are some of the highlights of the legislation:

• Evidence Based Model: Every district will have an adequacy target based on the needs of the children in the district. 

• Distribution Model:  New funds will be distributed so that those districts that have the largest gap between their adequacy target and local available resources will receive the majority of funds.  Over time, there will be no Tier I districts as more and more districts move closer to adequacy.

• A permanent hold harmless provision per school district to ensure every district in Illinois receives at least the same amount of funding as the previous year

• The legislation recommends an additional $350 million per year be added to the formula to move Illinois closer to fully funding the student adequacy target.

• The Chicago Pension provision that was contained in SB 1 has been removed from the legislation and the school funding formula.

• There is significant mandate and property tax relief for taxpayers including:
o P.E. and Driver’s Ed mandate relief
o A more streamlined waiver process
o A property tax referendum to be put before voters to reduce property taxes for school districts that are above 110% of adequacy.

• A scholarship tax credit for individuals that provide donations for scholarships to private schools in Illinois.
o Eligibility for the scholarships will be for a student whose family is 300% or less of the federal poverty level for the first year and up to 400% after.
o 5 year pilot program

• A Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Task Force is created to review current TIF laws in Illinois and propose changes to TIF districts.

Each of these provisions are the result of bipartisan negotiations in the House and Senate and with the Governor to produce the best possible agreement to reform our broken school funding formula. I am pleased to see both parties come together to find common ground so that every child in Illinois has access to great schools.

If you have any questions about the legislation, please contact my office at (217)782-0044.

No comments :