ALLIANCE LEGISLATIVE REPORT (100-43) - SCHOOL FUNDING APPROVED BY SENATE
Today, the Illinois Senate approved Senate Bill 1947, the school funding reform bill. Governor Bruce Rauner has vowed to quickly sign the bill into law, thus ending a long stalemate between the partisan caucuses and the two legislative chambers. The bill, which passed the Senate on a vote of 38-13-4, will be effective immediately upon the Governor’s signature. Both the Illinois State Board of Education and the Office of the Illinois Comptroller have pledged to process the necessary paperwork as soon as possible so funds can begin flowing to Illinois’ public schools.
General funds for schools have been held up so far this fiscal year because no evidence-based funding program had been put in place, in accordance with language in the budget bill. SB 1947 contains most elements of the evidence-based model supported by Vision 20/20 and the School Management Alliance. More detailed information and Alliance position on the compromise funding language can be found in this IPA Connect post.
The most striking element of this process that became evident over the past several months has been the passion, resilience, and dedication of school superintendents, principals, business officials, and board members. Through all of the acrimony, political wrangling, and dire circumstances for local schools, they consistently took action with the best interests of the students of our public schools in mind.
Thank you for your advocacy.
Statement on School Funding Passage from IPA Executive Director Jason Leahy:
"Rarely do you have an opportunity to witness legislation as impactful and far-reaching as what was passed by the General Assembly to overhaul our antiquated school funding formula. While SB 1947 is not a perfect bill, it finally puts our state on a path toward equity and adequacy for all our young people.
On behalf of the IPA, our thanks to Senators Manar and Barickman, Representatives Davis and Pritichard, and those involved with the reform commission for continuing to push this important issue through the legislative process. Additionally, we are grateful for the hard work of all the advocates but most especially our friends at IASA and IASBO. Under the leadership of Executive Directors Dr. Brent Clark and Dr. Michael Jacoby, we are fortunate to be able to collaborate with organizations who care as deeply about the well-being of kids as they do."