Jesiel: HB 4069 is The Clean Education Funding Reform Legislation our Schools Need

State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) is pushing education funding legislation that will pick up where Senate Bill 1 failed by ensuring new funding for all Illinois school districts, instead of skewing school funding to first drive new money to one school district - Chicago.

Jesiel is Chief Co-Sponsor of House Bill 4069, which is the same as SB 1124 in the Senate. The legislation restores truly equitable funding through an evidence based school funding formula that drives more funding to low income students and to school districts that need it most, along with a hold-harmless provision that prevents any school district from losing funding. The bills include both a base funding and tier funding model that ensures every school district would receive more funding than under SB 1 and was drafted from agreed language in SB 1 before an amendment was added to bail out the Chicago Public School System.

“This legislation creates the clean education funding reform model that students in my district desperately need and represents an opportunity to ensure every child in the state is treated the same, instead of perpetuating an outdated model that picks winners and losers,” said Jesiel.

She continued, “By using a per-pupil approach to funding, instead of per district approach, and running all funding through the evidence based formula, every district sees more new funding. The State Board of Education has reviewed both plans and their data clearly shows the model in House Bill 4069/Senate Bill 1124 is the most fair and equitable path forward.”

Jesiel noted that the formula in SB 1 builds in perks that only Chicago receives, meaning that Chicago Public Schools would receive a disproportionate share of any new funding that would be run through the model. Under House Bill 4069/Senate Bill 1124, these perks are removed, so that all school districts in the state would receive considerably more of any new funding – in many cases, almost double what would have been received in SB 1. Watch video on the House floor as Jesiel questions school officials on this difference, Click Here and Click Here.

Based on an objective analysis, ISBE data provides actual evidence that HB 4069/SB 1124 produce a better result than SB 1 for putting state resources in districts of need. Both bills use the same formula language to address equity by taking into account low-income students and the ability to tax locally. Because SB 1 includes an additional manipulation of the formula, creating special deals for Chicago Public Schools through the Chicago Block Grant and by picking up its pension costs, SB 1 results in a less equitable solution, as measured by the data, and the data alone.

See how HB 4069/SB 1124 measure up against SB 1 in the 61st House District:

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