Wheeler Authors Resolution to Review School Funding Distribution

CRYSTAL LAKE – Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) has filed House Resolution 9 (HR9) to create a committee to thoroughly examine the existing distribution of education funding in the state. HR9 will create the House Education Funding Advisory Committee to conduct a thorough review of the existing methods of education funding and distribution in Illinois. This proposal was originally made during November’s joint hearing of the House Elementary & Secondary Education Committee and House Appropriations – Elementary & Secondary Education Committee, but was postponed once Senate Bill 16 (SB16) was successful halted.

Last fall, SB16 attempted to substantially re-write the school funding formula in the state. SB16 would have stripped millions of dollars in funding from McHenry and Lake County Schools. While the bill was ultimately killed due to the efforts of numerous concerned parents and educators, more action to change the funding formula is expected during the 99th General Assembly.

“Providing for our children’s future is the most important thing to every parent,” said Wheeler. “When the Senate tried to force through Senate Bill 16 last year they spent a great deal of time studying our current distribution formula. Unfortunately, the House was not given the same opportunity to examine the equity in our school funding. This lake of sufficient involvement from the House led to the wholly inadequate nature of SB16. By creating this committee it will ensure that we can avoid another bill like that.”

The primary purpose of the advisory committee will be to conduct a thorough review of the existing school funding formula and make recommendations for reforms that would create a funding system that would be adequate, equitable and which prepares students for achievement and success after high school. These recommendations will be used in conjunction with the previous study conducted by the Senate to ensure that a fair and equitable education funding formula is created to benefit all of the students attending Illinois’ public schools.

“It would be incredibly unfair to not only the children of Illinois, but our state’s parents and educators to drastically overhaul our education funding formula without a complete understanding of its impacts,” said Wheeler. “As not only a parent, but a former educator, it is very important to me to ensure that we take as much time as necessary to do this properly and ensure that every child in Illinois has the best opportunity to achieve scholastic success.”

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