Thursday, August 31, 2017

Alliance Legislative Report (100-44)


Today, Governor Bruce Rauner signed SB 1947, enacting a new evidence-based school funding formula into law. With this new law in place, general funds can begin flowing to Illinois’ public school districts. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Comptroller Susana Mendoza have indicated that school districts should receive their first two aid payments in the next couple of weeks.

After months of negotiating over the finer points of the new formula, legislators from both chambers and both parties finally found common ground. The trick was to find a version of the formula that was an acceptable middle ground between SB 1 as it passed the legislature, the governor’s amendatory changes to that bill, and other requests brought by the governor and Republican caucuses.

The governor held a bill signing ceremony this afternoon (Thursday) at Ebinger Elementary School on the north side of Chicago. On hand with the governor were legislative leaders Cullerton, Brady, and Durkin, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, bill sponsors Manar, Lightford, Barickman, Rezin, Davis, and Pritchard, Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis, State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tony Smith, ISBE Chairman Reverend James Meeks, several other legislators, and a room full of education advocates.

The Alliance legislative staff is working on a comprehensive analysis of SB 1947. It should be available next week.