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Cullerton: look forward to seeing GOP's mid-June budget plans

jjc 053117trustAfter today’s Republican press conference on their mid-June budget proposal, the following statement was released from John Patterson, spokesman for Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton:

“It’s going to require bipartisan compromise to get to a balanced budget signed into law and get Illinois out of this situation. That’s the reality now that the May 31 deadline passed. We hope this is a serious, real step toward that compromise by House and Senate Republicans. But a Republicans-only, mid-June news conference doesn’t exactly scream bipartisan compromise.

Area schools poised to gain more than $17M under Senate education plan

link 022817 314SPRINGFIELD- The latest school funding reform numbers show that a fake news group linked to Gov. Bruce Rauner was indeed pedaling misinformation regarding public school funding in Illinois in the weeks leading up to approval of a historic education finance overhaul.

An analysis only recently made public by Rauner’s education agency shows that no school districts in Illinois would lose money under the plan lawmakers recently approved. In fact, schools in the 30th District are estimated to gain $17,109,571 in state funding under the Senate’s plan. Some examples include:

  • Waukegan Community Unit School District 60 — $14.60 million
  • Hawthorn CC School District 73 — $125,388

Supporters had said holding the line on funding was key to getting support for the overhaul that does away with the current, antiquated funding system and instead targets new state dollars to schools facing the toughest economic and educational challenges.

“A solid education could be the launching pad that allows  a child to achieve their dream,” State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) said.

The new plan seeks to maintain funding for schools that are doing well while bringing up those that are struggling. It’s a reform more than two decades in the works and one that still faces major political obstacles.

Gov. Rauner was already threatening to veto the historic education overhaul even before lawmakers had given it final approval. As a result, the Senate is delaying sending the paperwork to the governor’s desk in hope cooler heads will prevail and the governor will recognize he’s getting a win on a key policy he’s wanted.

Rauner promised to change the school funding system and put his hand-picked education secretary in charge of an elite taskforce. But that taskforce failed to deliver an actual plan. Lawmakers stepped in to finish the job of not just drafting the plan, but then approving it.

In the midst of this work, a fake news network began spreading erroneous numbers, saying schools across the state were going to lose money. These numbers appeared on fake news sites such as the Lake County Gazette. 

It was later revealed that the so-called latest numbers were actually pulled out of a different plan from more than a year ago. For whatever reason, Rauner and his education secretary did nothing to warn public school administrators and the taxpaying public of the misinformation or to set the record straight on public school funding.

Local school gains under SB 1. The approximate overall gain that some area school districts would experience under SB1 based on proposed funding levels:

  • Adlai E Stevenson District 125- $5,029
  • Aptakisic-Tripp CC School District 102- $2,658
  • Gurnee School District 56- $64,492
  • Hawthorn CC School District- $125,388
  • Kildeer Countryside CC School District 96- $3,661
  • Libertyville Community High School District 128- $4,214
  • Lincolnshire-Prairieview School District 103- $1,902
  • Mundelein Consolidated High School District 120- $57,826
  • Mundelein Elementary School District 75- $110,781
  • North Chicago School District 187- $2,141,524
  • Waukegan Community School District 60- $14,591,879

To review the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis, visit fundingilfuture.org.

Bush: 31st District schools stand to gain nearly $12 million under education funding reform proposal

bush 040617SPRINGFIELD – The latest school funding reform numbers show that a fake news group backed by Gov. Bruce Rauner was indeed pedaling misinformation regarding public school funding in Illinois in the weeks leading up to approval of a historic education finance overhaul.

“The State Board of Education’s analysis of Senate Bill 1 proves what proponents have been saying all along—no school districts in Illinois would lose money under the new formula,” said Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake). “The Lake County Gazette – conservative political propaganda disguised as a newspaper, funded by hyper-partisan WIND talk show host Dan Proft – tried to mislead Illinoisans by using an analysis of a completely different school funding reform bill from last year and claiming that the numbers in that analysis were from Senate Bill 1.”

An analysis only recently made public by Rauner’s education agency shows that no school districts in Illinois would lose money under the plan lawmakers recently approved. In fact, schools in the 31st District are estimated to gain $11,539,070 in state funding under the Senate’s plan. Supporters had said holding the line on funding was key to getting support for the overhaul that does away with the current, antiquated funding system and instead targets new state dollars to schools facing the toughest economic and educational challenges.

“Republicans are going around the state pushing fake information and making up excuses because the truth is they voted against a bill that would help their local schools,” Bush said.

The new plan seeks to maintain funding for schools that are doing well while increasing support for those that are struggling. It’s a reform more than two decades in the works and one that still faces major political obstacles.

Gov. Rauner was already threatening to veto the historic education overhaul even before lawmakers had given it final approval. As a result, the Senate is delaying sending the paperwork to the governor’s desk in hope cooler heads will prevail and the governor will recognize he’s getting a win on a key policy he’s wanted.

Rauner promised to change the school funding system and put his hand-picked education secretary in charge of an elite taskforce. But that taskforce failed to deliver an actual plan. Lawmakers stepped in to finish the job of not just drafting the plan, but then approving it.

In the midst of this work, a fake news site began spreading erroneous numbers, saying schools across the state were going to lose money. These numbers appeared on political news sites such as the Lake County Gazette. 

It was later revealed that the so-called latest numbers were actually pulled out of a different plan from more than a year ago. Unfortunately, Rauner and his education secretary never warned public school administrators and the taxpaying public to set the record straight on public school funding.

“Dan Proft and the Lake County Gazette are attempting to misinform readers by pretending to be a real, objective newspaper and pushing fake news to unsuspecting readers,” Bush said. “The Lake County Gazette’s attempt to intentionally misinform Illinoisans is absolutely disgraceful. Illinoisans deserve to know the truth.”

Clayborne votes for fair funding, property tax relief for area schools

clayborne05052017CM0335rSPRINGFIELD – High-poverty, downstate school districts, shortchanged for decades under Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation education funding formula, could see a significant influx of funding to level the playing field with wealthier school districts under a landmark school funding reform measure that passed in both houses of the legislature this week.

“The current funding formula puts many students in our communities at a tremendous disadvantage and has forced local school districts to hike up property tax rates. I am proud to join my colleagues to support additional funding for our schools and property tax relief for our communities,” said Senator James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville).

Senate Bill 1 has strong support from thousands of school administrators, superintendents, principals, educators, taxpayers and advocates for fair school funding. Illinois’ school funding formula has not been updated in more than 20 years and is considered one of the worst in the nation because it relies so heavily on local property wealth.

An analysis of Illinois State Board of Education figures released estimates this week by Funding Illinois’ Future – a coalition that advocates for school funding reform – shows potential funding increases for area school districts under Senate Bill 1, an evidence-based model that accounts for factors such as students with disabilities, English language learners and low-income students.

It also provides extra support for the neediest districts in the quest for adequate funding, and it offers property tax relief.

No school district would receive less funding under Senate Bill 1 than they have received under Illinois’ current school funding formula.

The estimated overall gain some area school districts would experience under the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis of SB1 based on FY17 funding levels:

  • Belle Valley School District 119 - $437,238
  • Belleville School District 118 - $1,401,597
  • Belleville Township High School District 201 - $1,941,563
  • Brooklyn Unit District 188 - $36,744
  • Cahokia Community Unit District 187 - $551,826
  • East St. Louis School District 189 - $1,357,558
  • Freeburg Community Consolidated School District 70 - $32,974
  • Freeburg Community High School District 77 - $47,618
  • Granite City Community Unit School District 9 - $2,333,657
  • Grant Community Consolidated School District 110- $29,708
  • Harmony EMGE School District 175 - $69,982
  • High Mount School District 116 - $209,352
  • Lebanon Community Unit School District 9 - $39,789
  • Madison Community Unit School District 12 - $107,926
  • Millstadt Community Consolidated School District 160 - $24,580
  • O’Fallon  Community Consolidated School District 90 - $164,969
  • O’Fallon Township High School District 203 - $375,419
  • Shiloh Village School District 85 - $46,946
  • Signal Hill School District 181 - $104,876
  • Smithton Community Consolidated School District 3 - $19,989
  • Whiteside School District 115 - $66,197
  • Wolf Branch School District 113 - $25,444

In addition, under Senate Bill 1, high-tax school districts are eligible for property tax relief up to 1 percent of their EAV. Estimated property tax relief for two area school districts:

  • Cahokia Community Unit School District 187 - $64,904
  • East St. Louis School District 189 - $79,425

To review the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis, visit fundingilfuture.org.