State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) issued the following statement in response to the Illinois Senate passing education funding reform legislation (SB 1947) Aug. 29. Rose voted in favor of the legislation.
“For years, the Chicago Public Schools have refused to address their own troubles. This legislation will end the Chicago Public School Block Grant as we know it and going forward, treat Chicago the same way we treat any other teacher or school in the state. It also forces Chicago, for the first time, to begin to clean up their own mess by raising their own property taxes by $130 million. That’s $130 million that is not coming from state taxpayers. This legislation also keeps the Chicago Public Schools’ pension payment out of the school-funding formula, a huge win for downstate schools.
“The legislation adopts the evidenced-based model, a concept first proposed by a superintendent in the 51st Senate District, Gary Tipsord, of LeRoy. This idea became the Vision 20/20 push by schools and was originally introduced by Sen. Jason Barickman and me as Senate Bill 1403 in 2015.
“Look how far we have come. The original proposal from Democrats years ago would have cut funding from several of my schools – actually 40 percent of downstate schools would have lost money. By Republicans saying that legislation wasn’t good, fast forward to today, we now have no red numbers – no losses for any district. Red numbers meant higher property taxes to fund our local schools.
“This brings me to something I originally campaigned on back when I first entered public life: the state’s school-funding inequities are extreme and while that negatively impacts students, it also greatly hurts local property taxpayers.
“It is also obvious that the state’s failure to properly fund our schools inevitably leads to higher local property taxes. This over reliance on property taxpayers is killing us – killing our downstate communities to the extent that today, through this legislation, we’re starting to turn that corner and right the ship.
“This is a huge victory for both public school children and their families, and it is a victory for local property taxpayers.”