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Curran responds to approved school funding agreement

In response to the House and Senate approval of Senate Bill 1947, a bipartisan school funding plan to address Illinois’ broken school funding formula, State Senator John Curran (R-Downers Grove) released the following statement in support of the legislation.

“Today we reached a compromise that both parties and legislative chambers can agree on—one that focuses on helping every individual student succeed. Through Senate Bill 1947, all 852 school districts in the state will get the resources they need to provide students with a high-quality education, no matter where they live.”

“This school funding agreement also includes a tax credit scholarship program funded by private donations, which will offer families of low- and middle-income students in areas with failing schools more academic options for their children—and provide more opportunities for them to reach their potential.” 

Curran is pleased the General Assembly approved a proposal to advance much-needed school funding reform for all Illinois students and that no school district loses funding under the plan.

Key Components of Illinois’ New School Funding Reform Legislation

  • Evidence-based Funding Model with 27 Elements to Define Adequacy: Directs new state funds to ensure low-income districts and the most need receive funding first.

  • Equitable Charter School funding: Designates that every child will be treated fairly regardless of type of school choice.

  • Property Tax Relief: Gives taxpayers in school districts that exceed their sufficient funding the opportunity to lower their property taxes via referendum, and it provides $50 million in property tax relief for taxpayers in high-tax low-wealth school districts.

  • Mandate Relief: Streamlines the School Code mandate waiver process and certain mandates on PE and Drivers Education to give school districts more flexibility to make decisions locally.

  • Tax Credit Scholarship Program: Allows individuals and corporations to contribute money for scholarships for low-income children in failing school districts to attend private schools and receive an income tax credit on their state taxes in return for their donation.

  • TIF Districts: Creates a Commission to study tax increment financing (TIF) districts in relation to school funding formula.

  • Chicago Public Schools Teacher Pension Parity: Provides that CPS’ normal pension and healthcare costs will be paid in the same manner as all other school districts.

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