House Education Committees Hold Hearing on SB 16
On Nov. 18, members of the House Elementary Committee and the House Elementary and Secondary Appropriations Committee held a joint hearing on Senate Bill 16, highly contentious legislation that would significantly overhaul Illinois’ current school-funding formula.
At the lengthy hearing, proponents and opponents, including both superintendents and teachers from across the state, presented testimony outlining what changes they believe are needed to make the measure palatable. House lawmakers agreed that the state’s system of education funding is in need of reform. However, after the discussion held during the Nov. 18 hearing, it seems clear that Senate Bill 16 would require significant revisions in order for the legislation to be approved by House lawmakers.
“SB 16 is a bad piece of legislation as it picks winners and losers,” Senator Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) said. “Chicago is the big winner in the legislation, which is ludicrous. SB 16 should not be the framework of a new piece of legislation. We need start the entire education funding reform over. That conversation should start with fully funding our schools, something I proposed, but Democrats didn’t listen to. When you fully fund our schools, everyone wins. I am hopeful once Governor-elect Rauner takes office, we can fix our education funding issue for the betterment of all school districts.”