A proposed bill has been created to change the way public education is funded in Illinois. As proposed, this bill will have a direct and negative impact on District 73, its associated high school districts, and most schools in Lake County.
What is Senate Bill 16?
Last July, a committee of state legislators was charged with recommending ways to improve public education funding in Illinois, which has remained unchanged since 1997. The result of the task force was the creation of Senate Bill 16 (SB16).
If enacted into law, SB16 will make sweeping changes in how the state funds education. Generally, school districts with higher assessed property values like ours will receive much less state funding. Other districts will receive much more in state funding.
SB16 does not increase the level of education funding, but rather it changes the way in which limited state funding is distributed among school districts.
How will SB16 impact District 73?
The financial impact on Hawthorn District 73 is significant. If the bill becomes law in its current form, District 73 would lose 83 percent of its state funding or over $2.87 million per year — a loss of about $700 per student. This would greatly impact our ability to provide a quality education to our students, and may put us in a position of needing to reduce programs and services.
Under SB16, all but five school districts in Lake County will lose state funding, a total of $12.45 million. Of the 47 school districts in Lake County, Hawthorn is third on the list in terms of those districts that will experience the largest percentage reduction in state funding.
- See the impact on all Lake County school districts here.
Where the SB came about
SB 16 is modeled after an effort in Massachusetts. Their General Assembly provided $1 billion in new money. There is no new money in SB16. This legislation is a redistribution of current resources.
We believe the solution is not to take from some to give to others, but rather for the State of Illinois to fully fund education, rather than ranking 50th in the nation in education funding.
What can you do?
SB16 has already passed the Senate. The State Senators who serve District 73 voted as follows:
- Yes – Senator Terry Link, District 30, http://www.senatorlink.com/index.php/contact-us 847-821-1811
See how other Illinois senators voted here.
It is expected that the House will vote on SB16 this fall. District 73 is served by the following State Representatives:
- Representative Carol Sente, District 59 firstname.lastname@example.org, 847-478-9960
- Representative Ed Sullivan, Jr., District 51, email@example.com, 847-566-5115
You may also use the following tool to look up and contact your legislators: