Springfield – A historic bipartisan agreement to replace the state's broken school funding formula with a more fair and equitable evidence-based model has now passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly, according to State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington).
"My goal has always been to put together a school funding reform measure that fairly and equitably funds all schools," said Senator Barickman. "The Governor’s signature is now the only remaining step to making that happen and replacing our state's antiquated system for funding schools."
The new agreement utilizes an evidence-based model to distribute funding to schools, a requirement of the recently passed budget. If signed into law as anticipated, schools will soon begin receiving their state funding.
Senator Barickman was the first legislator to introduce evidence-based school funding legislation back in the spring of 2015. The legislation was an attempt to fix the state's woefully outdated funding mechanism with a system that sends dollars to where they are needed most, and where the funding has the best chance of ensuring the success of students. Barickman’s legislation provided an alternative to competing bills that preserved the status quo of taking funding away from some schools and redistributing it to others.
...DENSE FOG ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM CDT THIS (Tuesday) MORNING... The National Weather Service in Chicago has issued a Dense Fog Advisory, which is in effect until 9 AM CDT this morning. * VISIBILITY...One quarter mile or less. * IMPACTS...Low visibility will result in hazardous driving conditions and longer travel times. ========================== 94.1 WGFA
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Mike Madigan spoke in favor of the House vote to support educational funding support.
Governor Rauner said "Today, members of the Illinois House of Representatives voted to bring historic education reform to Illinois children and their families. I want to thank Speaker Madigan, Leader Durkin and their staff members for finding common ground that will reverse the inequities of our current school funding system.
"Aligned with the framework provided by the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission – a bipartisan, bicameral working group chaired by the Secretary of Education – this bill has much to celebrate. First, every district in Illinois will have an adequacy target based on 27 elements brought forth through an “evidence-based model” of school funding. Second, new state funds will be distributed to ensure that those districts with the largest gap between current spending and adequacy will be funded first. Third, no district will lose state funding as compared to last year.
"The compromise includes the much-needed flexibility for school districts through mandate relief, while providing avenues for property tax relief. It increases transparency related to how districts are funded through local, state and federal resources.
"It protects the rights of parents to choose the school that best meets the needs of their children – providing more school choice for children from low-income families. By setting yearly minimum funding targets, this bill also ensures that Illinois will continue to invest in our most important resource – our children’s education.
House Speaker Mike Madigan echoed Governor Rauner saying, Today we saw compromise. Instead of pitting children and communities against each other, Democrats and Republicans came to an agreement on much of what’s in this bill. And even where we don’t fully agree, we’re willing to work together in good faith and meet each other half way.
“This bill provides the same promise of permanent funding for our schools as Senate Bill 1, with some additional items included at the request of Republicans. Even if all members did not agree with 100 percent of what is in the final bill, this bill still delivers 100 percent of what schools throughout Illinois need. This bill is a permanent promise of more funding for schools statewide. Every district in Illinois wins under this plan.
“Through compromise, we’ve included some provisions that many members would not have supported on their own. But a package that permanently provides more money for Illinois schools and puts us closer than ever to fixing Illinois’ broken school funding system is too important to let partisan differences get in the way.”
Volunteers from the American Red Cross are on their way to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. Several Red Cross chapters organized over the weekend in making plans to assist victims impacted by the storm in Texas.
Central Illinois Red Cross teams also plan to mobilize this week.
Nearly four dozen Red Cross emergency response vehicles have been activated. The Red Cross is mobilizing hundreds of trained disaster workers, truckloads of kitchen supplies and thousands of ready-to-eat meals to serve those impacted by the storm.
Red Cross officials say financial donations are the best way to help. To offer disaster relief, visit http://www.redcross.org, or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donors can designate their donation to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts by choosing that option when donating on redcross.org or at 1-800-RED-CROSS.
The Ashkum Homecoming is one of the local events in Iroquois County this weekend. It's the 52nd annual Lions Club Homecoming. Its started Friday with the Fish Fry and 'High Anxiety" proving entertainment. Activiites continue today (Sat) withe the "Silhouettes" on stage at 7 pm. 94.1 WGFA is broadcasting 'live" Sunday from Noon 'til 1 pm (during the Auto Show). Sunday's events also include the "Natural High" at 4 pm
The Fried Green Tomatoes Festival is today (Sat) IN THE PARK AT iROQUOIS. Musical entertainment, food and of course, the fried green tomatoes will be served. One of the festival's creators... Billy Marshall....says this is a unique event. Everyone is welcome. The event runs from Noon 'til midnight.
Donovan Park in Watseka is hosting its annual "Friend-raiser"... a local fundraiser to generate moiney for the park's upkeep. Today's (Sat) event is from 11 am 'til 1 pm.
The Will County Fair at Peotone continues this weekend. And the Half-Century of Progress continues this weekend at the former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul. Vintage farm equipment will be on display with demonstrations.