This week, State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) hosted a school funding town hall in Jefferson Park with State Rep. Robert Senator Mulroe and Rep. Martwick at a school funding townhallMartwick (D-Chicago) and education advocates. They discussed Senate Bill 1 and efforts to reform Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation school funding formula.

Senate Bill 1 is a landmark school funding reform measure that provides fair funding to all school districts in Illinois. It would implement an evidence-based school funding model based on 27 best practices which are proven to enhance student achievement in the classroom. The model accounts for factors such as the number of students with disabilities and low-income students.

Under Senate Bill 1, no school district would receive less funding than it did in fiscal year 2017. It aims to level the playing field by funneling new money into school districts that are the least able to offer a high-quality education based on student needs, local property wealth and a district's taxing effort. The measure also makes high-tax school districts eligible for property tax relief.

Senate Bill 1 passed both chambers on May 31, but the governor issued an amendatory veto earlier this month to take away resources from Chicago.

Ginger Ostro provides an overview of SB 1As it passed the Senate and House, this legislation would shift CPS' pension costs from the school district to the state. CPS is currently the only school district in Illinois that is responsible for the employer's share of teachers' pensions. Under Senate Bill 1, Chicago Public Schools would receive an additional $292 million total for the next school year to implement the evidence-based school funding formula and for pension costs. Senate Bill 1 also sunsets the Chicago block grant, which was used for certain special education line items, school transportation, among other costs. CPS, like all school districts, would not lose funding under Senate Bill 1. Moving forward, the money that CPS had received as the block grant would be moved into its base funding and CPS would submit claims for these reimbursements as other school districts do.

To learn more about Senate Bill 1 and to view the presentation from the town hall, click here. To view the broadcast of the town hall, click here.

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Springfield Office:
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