State Rep. David S. Olsen Responds to House Vote in Favor of New School Funding Formula Legislation

Today members of the House of Representatives approved sweeping changes to how Illinois will fund public schools. In response to the 73-34-3 vote on amended SB 1947, State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) has issued the following statement:

“Much of the discussion surrounding changes to the school funding formula in recent weeks has been tied to peripheral issues. We must not forget that at its core this is sweeping change based on years of study and many recommendations from the School Funding Reform Commission. We are now embracing an evidence-based model that should help every individual student succeed.”

“This proposal secures historic funding levels for all Illinois school districts. No school district will lose money under this plan. The compromise ensures a high quality education for all Illinois students and prioritizes funding for the most impoverished schools and students. Chicago Public Schools’ normal pension costs are to be paid in the same manner as all other school districts—outside the school funding formula.”

“The bill we approved in the House today is truly the result of bipartisan compromise and was the only education funding bill proposed that was able to achieve the supermajority support needed to pass. There are elements of this bill I do not like. But there are other elements, like unfunded mandate relief, that will benefit the taxpayers in the 81st District. As is the case with any successful compromise, no one is walking away 100% pleased, but every lawmaker can point to some provisions in this new school funding bill that helps our districts and our taxpayers.”

“As the provisions of SB 1947 are implemented in school districts across Illinois, we will be able to determine if the new model is having the desired effect on student learning. We always have the ability to amend this portion of the school code to make this new evidence-based model more efficient and effective.”

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