Governor Bruce Rauner toured Lyons Township High School Monday to advocate for fully funding education in Fiscal Year 2017. Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno and House Leader Jim Durkin introduced legislation (SB3234/HB6335) in February that would fully fund schools for the upcoming school year. By passing either of these bills, the General Assembly is ensuring schools will receive state funding and open in the fall.
“Our priority right now should be funding our schools for the upcoming school year,” Governor Rauner said. “Since day one, I have been committed to building a world-class education system in Illinois that ensures every child goes to a high-quality school and can go on to a high-paying career. Fully funding our schools is a step closer to making that a reality.”
School districts are already planning for the upcoming year and need direction from Springfield on how much funding they will receive from the state. SB3234/HB6335 ends proration – which benefits every district in the state – fully funds schools for the first time in seven years, and sends a record level of state aid to districts across the state.
“We need to give parents, teachers and school districts the confidence to plan for and to open in September,” Leader Durkin said. “By taking care of our schools, we can build on the bipartisan momentum in Springfield to pass a budget alongside reforms that fund social services, government services and public safety.”
Governor Rauner and the Republican Leaders reiterated they are committed to reforming the current school funding formula. They agree a new formula should send more money to low-income and rural schools without taking resources away from other districts and pitting communities against each other.
“By fully funding schools we are showing the students that they come first,” Leader Radogno said. “School funding is a complicated and emotional issue because of its implications for districts across the state. With funding for the upcoming school year secured, we can continue to work on finding a fair and bipartisan school funding formula.”