Compromise education bill fails in House

30 August, 2017, 02:09 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Districts like Quincy Public Schools have been waiting on a funding formula

Leaders of both parties say it is a compromise and an important day for IL.

"We want anybody to feel free to call the police, and we would like to get the word out that this bill should make anyone living in Illinois feel comfortable about calling the police and getting the service they need", Ed Wojcicki, the Executive Director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, wrote prior to the bill signing. It provides money to help Chicago Public Schools pay its pension costs, as the state does for other districts, and allows Chicago to raise property taxes by $120 million to help reduce its massive unfunded pension liabilities. Opponents objected to a tax credit program to fund $75 million annually for private school scholarships, which teachers unions derided as an effort to introduce school vouchers to IL.

"The fact is working families and our most vulnerable communities continue to get left behind and raising the minimum wage to $15 moves our state in the right direction", Pritzker said when the bill was passed.

The compromise involves tax credits for those who donate to private schools
The compromise involves tax credits for those who donate to private schools

Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) said the new school funding bill will send more money to southern IL schools.

The program was backed by Rauner, Republicans and Cardinal Blase Cupich and would provide tax credits for anyone who donates to organizations that would create scholarship funds for low- and mid-income students attending private schools.

The evening vote came after the same measure was defeated earlier Monday largely because of objections to the tax credits raised by teacher unions. He says he's enthusiastic about the bipartisan compromise and his district will get roughly $180,000 more under the plan. He said it was fitting they begin the countdown to the Bicentennial Celebration where it all began.

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IL this week became the tenth state to adopt an automatic voter registration law, and election reform advocates in MA are using the news to call on Bay State lawmakers to approve similar legislation. Gov. Bruce Rauner was in the Senate for the vote.

The Illinois Senate is advancing the education funding reform compromise.

In other words, some sort of bi-partisan plan will be needed to fund schools, something the House has been unable to pull off up to now, causing the state to already miss two payments to local school districts. A vote could occur in that chamber as early as Tuesday. School superintendents across the state, particularly in Central and Southern Illinois, have been on edge.

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Teacher unions opposed the credits, saying taxpayer money shouldn't be used toward private schools.

Many in the southern IL community are calling this legislation - the Trust Act - a step in the right direction for immigrants anxious their lives in the US may be uprooted by federal immigration policies. 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 IL need.

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