Gov. Rauner’s announcement of the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission was quickly followed by the appointment of five legislators to the panel by Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno. State Sens. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington), Dave Luechtefeld (R-Okawville), Dan McConchie (R-Lake Zurich), Karen McConnaughay (R-West Dundee) and Sue Rezin (R-Peru) will serve on the commission to be chaired by Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis.
“Ensuring our students receive the best education possible requires strong leadership and a commitment by all stakeholders to work in a bipartisan, collaborative, manner,” said Leader Radogno. “I applaud Governor Rauner for once again reaffirming his commitment to our teachers and students, and for his leadership in creating this commission. By working together, we can ensure every school in Illinois has the resources they need to be successful.”
The remaining legislative leaders also named appointees to the 25-member commission (five members will come from each of the four legislative caucuses and five members from the Governor’s administration).
The commission’s assignment is to recommend a comprehensive solution to reform Illinois’ school funding formula. It’s anticipated the first public meeting of the commission will be held in early August, though that date has not been announced. Recommendations are due to the Governor and General Assembly by February 2017, allowing lawmakers the ability to take action during the 2017 legislative session.
There is breathing room for lawmakers and the Governor to come to an agreement on the school funding formula. For the first time in seven years, Illinois schools will start the new school year (2016-17) with full funding. That milestone is part of the stop-gap budget plan approved last month.