Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) says suburban and downstate schools would suffer under so-called “education funding reform” legislation currently moving through the General Assembly.
“Senate Bill 231 would be a disaster for suburban and downstate schools. Even as amended, this legislation radically redistributes suburban and downstate tax dollars to fund a bailout for Chicago Public Schools,” said Radogno.
According to Radogno, a last minute amendment softens the blow, but doesn’t alter the fundamental fact that SB 231 takes money away from suburban and downstate schools and gives it to CPS. Under the latest amendment, 81 percent of suburban schools and 56 percent of downstate schools lose funding, while CPS receives a $175 million bailout.
There is widespread agreement that Illinois’ education funding formula is broken and needs to be fixed, but as Radogno acknowledges, true reform is part of a bigger, more comprehensive conversation that will take time. To avoid holding Illinois’ students hostage, Radogno says her Democrat colleagues should join legislative Republicans and Gov. Bruce Rauner and move forward with full funding of the foundation level to ensure schools will open on time this fall.
“What our schools and our kids actually need is real and thoughtful reform to transform Illinois’ education funding formula. That will take time. In the meantime, we need to fully fund the current foundation level for the first time in seven years as Governor Rauner has suggested,” said Radogno.