Legislation has been introduced and is moving through the General Assembly that would dramatically change the way the state funds public education in Illinois. As currently drafted, Senate Bill 16 will have a direct and negative impact on northwest suburban Cook County schools by diverting millions in General State Aid for Education away from local school districts to other districts in Illinois.
Senator Matt Murphy, Representative David Harris, and Representative Tom Morrison believe suburban legislators, regardless of party, need to stand together in support of suburban schools and property taxpayers. They recognize that suburbanites fund their schools primarily through the high property taxes they pay. They also recognize that suburbanites send more money in income taxes down to Springfield than our area gets back in state benefits, especially since the passage of the 67% income tax increase in 2011. Given these facts, Senator Murphy and Representatives Harris and Morrison oppose Senator Manar's SB16 proposed cuts of up to 90% of suburban schools' state funding and call on all suburbanites to oppose it as well.
If you agree, please add your name to the following petition and contribute to this effort by sharing the petition with your friends, family and colleagues.
In addition to signing the petition, we ask you contact your state representative and state senator personally to express your concerns about this measure and ask them to sign this petition and vote “No" on Senate Bill 16.
What is Senate Bill 16?
Last July, a committee of state legislators was charged with recommending ways to improve public education funding in Illinois, which has remained unchanged since 1997. Despite the bipartisan efforts of the committee, Democrat lawmakers unilaterally acted to draft SB 16, legislation that failed to incorporate many of the committee’s recommendations and which does not address the glaring inequities in how education is funded in Illinois.
If enacted into law, SB 16 will make sweeping changes in how the state funds education. Generally, school districts with higher assessed property values, like ours, will receive much less state funding. Other districts will receive much more in state funding.
SB 16 is a redistribution of current state resources that dramatically changes the way in which limited state funding is distributed among school districts.
How will SB16 impact suburban Cook County?
As a whole, SB16 would phase out a total of $70.8 million from northwest suburban Cook County schools. All 12 school districts located across northwest suburban Cook County will lose upwards of $1 million dollars. Of those 12 schools, 7 districts will have their funding cut by more than $5 million. Six suburban Cook County school districts will lose more than 70% of state funding.
This will result in cuts to arts and sciences, after-school and extra-curricular programs, and salary cuts or layoffs for teachers and faculty.
Suburban property taxpayers will be asked to once again dig in their pockets to supplement the loss in state funding.
What can you do?
Contact your local state legislators and ask them to vote “NO” on SB16. Visit Sen. Murphy's Education Funding Reform Portal for more information and a complete contact list.