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Posted by Jana Krausfeldt on Nov 20, 2014

by Carol Snyder, District 205 PTA Council Legislative Chair

Senate Bill 16 (SB16) significantly rewrites the Illinois school funding formula, stripping many school districts of a substantial portion of their general state aid while funneling that money to Chicago Public Schools and other property tax-poor school districts across Illinois.  If SB16 passes, Elmhurst District 205 is estimated to lose $4.5 million annually in state funding under the current proposal.

SB16 was scheduled for a joint hearing in the House on Tuesday, November 18th, 2014.  This hearing will likely reveal proposed amendments to the bill, which have been discussed in closed-door meetings hosted by House Speaker Mike Madigan over the past few months.  There is no word on whether or not a vote will be called.  However, Representative Barbara Wheeler recently warned that, "The fact that the hearing has been scheduled now rather than waiting until the new General Assembly is seated in January suggests that we may see movement of this bill during the lame duck session, when outgoing lawmakers are enticed to make unpopular votes."

As previously reported, not all proposed amendments to SB16 are favorable, such as the so-called "pension shift". House Speaker Madigan is an outspoken supporter of the pension shift, which reduces the state's obligation to fund public pensions and saddles local property taxpayers with the bill.  What this would mean for you is significant property tax increases along with significant cuts impacting your children's classrooms.  Illinois currently has a $100 billion public pension deficit, which ranks as worst-in-the-nation.  Illinois also has the second-highest property taxes in the nation.


Contact your State Senator and State Representative and tell them to vote NO on SB16.  Look them up here.

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