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Illinois has a budget, but school funding still up in the air
The state of Illinois FINALLY passed a budget after over two years of not having one. Governor Rauner vetoed the budget this week, but both the Senate and House were able to override his veto with bipartisan support. A tax increase of 1.2% points was passed, so the income tax in IL will go from 3.75 to 4.95%. As we’ve shared for years, IL has a flat income tax, and the majority of states with income taxes have a graduated tax. In order to change that in IL, the constitution would need to be amended. RYH will continue to advocate for this in Springfield as progressive revenue is critical for the health of our state. In the meantime, at least IL finally has a budget, and the bleeding can stop.
What does this mean for K-12 education? This budget calls for a new funding formula for education, and in order for money to be released to school districts, the Governor will need to sign SB1 or the other school funding bill. Unfortunately, the Governor has said he’ll veto this bill because it gives CPS too much money.
In reality, the state of IL isn’t giving any school district too much money and has been at the bottom of the list for funding schools for years. CPS has been shorted hundreds of millions of dollars each year for pension coverage, and while they do get a block grant from the state that other districts don’t get, the overall loss from the pension payment is greater than the block grant. The state pays roughly $2,000 per student a year for pensions outside of Chicago and $77 for Chicago students. See CTBA’s report: “How Much Are State Pension Payments Worth to Illinois School Districts?”
What can you do? Call Governor Rauner and tell him to sign SB1 and release funds so schools can open in the fall: 217-782-0244
In other news
New York Times: 18 States Sue Betsy DeVos Over Student Loan Protections
Stamford Advocate: Opinion: Contrary views of education collide in Chicago
WBEZ: The Cost of Jobs. Note: WBEZ crunches the numbers to find that it would cost $1 billion to solve unemployment for males 16 to 34, in 26 of the city’s 77 community areas—a statistic highly relevant to the new CPS requirement of having a job, job offer or college acceptance letter in order to graduate high school.