Saturday, February 9, 2019

Alliance Legislative Report 101-03

Significant legislation was moved on the fast track this week in the state Capitol.

The Illinois Senate approved legislation to increase the minimum wage and sent the bill over to the House of Representatives. A Senate committee approved a mandatory statewide increase in the minimum teacher salary and sent the bill to the full Senate for consideration. The bill pending in the Senate to reinstate the five clock-hour provision for school funding remained unchanged this week, though discussions were ongoing about possible revisions.

The Alliance opposes each of these three initiatives. For many school districts, the combination of statutory increases in the minimum wage for all workers and the minimum teacher salary will create a new fiscal constraint that will consume large percentages of any financial gain the district would have realized from the new Evidence-Based Funding Formula – and move them even farther away from their adequacy targets. Instead of being allowed to use this new funding on its intended purpose – lower class sizes, summer school, reading specialists, and other proven resources that increase student achievement – school districts will be required to increase current teacher salaries instead. The actual result could be cuts in services and programs to schools and larger class sizes.

Click here to read more about these initiatives and the complete Alliance Legislative Report 101-03.