State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) will join Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) and other local lawmakers on October 14 for a public forum on Senate Bill 16, a proposal that rewrites Illinois’ school funding formula and strips state aid away from most suburban school districts.
The forum will take place from 6:30-8:30 PM at McHenry West High School, 4724 W. Crystal Lake Road in McHenry. Joining Wheeler and Althoff at the event will be Senator Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles), and Representatives Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) and Jack Franks (D-Woodstock). Local school superintendents and school board members will also be on hand to discuss the specific impact SB16 would have on their districts.
“Senate Bill 16 has already been approved in the Illinois Senate and now it is pending in the House,” said Wheeler. “As written, SB16 diverts millions in General State Aid away from local schools and channels it toward Chicago and many downstate schools. It’s an unfair redistribution of funds with every one of my school districts losing large amounts of funding.”
According to Wheeler, the school districts located within the boundaries of the 64th legislative House district would lose the following amounts of GSA if SB16 is passed:
· Nippersink District 2: 79.5%
· Johnsburg District 12: 32.6%
· McHenry District 15: 85.5%
· McHenry District 156: 38.4%
· Richmond Burton District 157: 58.1%
· Crystal Lake District 47: 72.6%
· Crystal Lake District 155: 17.2%
· Grass Lake District 36: 77.5%
· Lake Villa District 41: 1.8%
· Fox Lake District 114: 86.5%
· Antioch District 117: 25.0%
· Grant District 124: 13.0%
· Wauconda District 118: 79.7%
“School funding reform is an important issue that should be addressed, but SB16 does not solve the problem,” said Wheeler. “It merely creates new funding winners and losers by taking funding away from school districts whose taxpayers already shoulder a disproportionate share of the cost of educating kids in this state.”
Those who attend the forum will be given the opportunity to submit questions or concerns to panel participants.
According to Wheeler, several Representatives have joined together to sponsor a House Resolution that denounces SB16 in favor of comprehensive and fair school funding reform. Wheeler is a Chief Co-Sponsor of HR1276. You can read the text of the resolution here.