Monday, March 20, 2017

Alliance Legislative Report 100-11

The Evidence Based Funding Model, a Vision 20/20 initiative, was once again discussed under the Capitol dome as the House Education Task Force met this week. Similar to previous task forces, the House Education Task Force is a bipartisan group of legislators that are looking to come up with a solution to the current funding crisis in Illinois. House Bill 2808, which contains the language for the Evidenced Based Funding Model, is co-sponsored by House Education Elementary and Secondary-Appropriations Chairman William Davis (D-Hazel Crest) and Republican Spokesperson Bob Pritchard (R-Sycamore). The legislation has picked up multiple additional sponsors in recent weeks and is the main focus for many working on a funding overhaul. In a meeting of the House Education Elementary and Secondary-Appropriations committee, Illinois State Superintendent Tony Smith said that while the Illinois State Board of Education has not done an analysis of the Evidence Based Funding Model, he believes tying funding to research based metrics to be a positive.

Another major topic of discussion this week, and over the past number of years, was pension reform. The discussion was spurred by the introduction of Senate Bills 2172 and 2173 (Connelly, R-Naperville) which are a combination of ideas that have been seen previously. The reform bills would include a consideration plan similar to SB 16, which was the pension reform plan in the Senate’s “grand bargain.” To entice more votes on an idea, which has already failed twice in the Senate this year, Senators Connelly and Tracy also included $215 million dollars for Chicago Public School pension that was previously vetoed by Governor Bruce Rauner. However, the governor said he would sign this combination plan if it made it to his desk.

Click here to read the entire Alliance Legislative Report 100-11, including summaries of a number of bills under consideration by the Senate and House.