Rep. David S. Olsen Joins Governor Rauner for Signing of New School Funding Formula Bill

State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) joined Governor Bruce Rauner at Ebinger Elementary School in Chicago on Thursday for the signing of landmark legislation that fundamentally changes how Illinois funds public education.

SB 1947, signed into law as Public Act 100-0465, adopts an evidence-based model based on years of study and several recommendations brought forth by a bipartisan, bicameral School Funding Reform Commission. “This new school funding formula secures historic levels of funding for every Illinois school district and prioritizes new education dollars for our State’s most impoverished schools and students,” said Olsen after the bill signing. “Through this new model, all students are treated equally and there are no special deals for any specific school district. One of the best negotiated points of this bill is that Chicago Public Schools’ normal pension costs will be paid in the same manner as all other school districts - outside the school funding formula.”

According to Olsen, the final language included in SB 1947 represents true compromise on the part of Republicans and Democrats from both chambers of the General Assembly. “Through these negotiations, legislative leaders were able to achieve compromise that provides all school districts with what they need; not necessarily with everything they want,” Olsen said. “There are elements of the new formula that I do not like. But there are also elements, like relief from unfunded school mandates and ensuring that no district will see funding cuts, which will benefit the taxpayers in the 81st District.”

With the signing of SB 1947, state aid payments will flow to Illinois’ 852 school districts without further delay. “This bill is a prime example of the positive progress that is possible when lawmakers set personal agendas aside and work together for the betterment of the State,” added Olsen. “I hope this level of bipartisan cooperation can be carried forward as we address other pressing issues in the State of Illinois.”

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