Recently, I was contacted by some constituents concerned about K-12 education funding. It was apparent that they care very much for their school district and their children, like every parent. These parents were understandably convinced that Senate Bill 1 is the fix Illinois’ education funding system needs because of certain information being distributed and the situation at hand in Springfield. After responding to these constituents, I felt it was necessary to ensure every resident of the 61st District had a better understanding of the controversy surrounding this critical issue and why it so important that we get this right.

Let me be clear, the schools and students in the 61st district are very important to me and I feel a great deal of responsibility for them as Senate Bill 1 has been debated and considered.

As many residents already know from visiting my website, I have spent the last year on a special commission that reviewed school funding, specifically the evidence-based model. I have also spent a good deal of time negotiating the specifics Senate Bill 1, so I am very familiar with the model and many of the arguments for and against it. I support the model itself - I think it is a very responsible way to get funding in a principled and research-based way to students who need it the most. I want to be very clear that the opinions that I hold with regards to SB1 are based on the content of the bill and on my participation over the last year, and not influenced by the Governor, partisan politics or personal preference. My responsibility is to negotiate and support a bill that will help and not hurt the students in the 61st District.

State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) hosted her annual senior fair in Antioch on August 2. The event featured several organizations and local agencies who came together to provide an array of services to residents.
From Governor Rauner's Office: Today, Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto to Senate Bill 1, the school funding bill. The matter now heads to the Illinois General Assembly, where the governor has respectfully requested that lawmakers uphold his changes. If these changes are upheld, Illinois will achieve historic education funding reform.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from or who your family is. With a great education, you can go anywhere in life and be whomever you want to be. You can grow up, get a good job and provide for your family. That’s why the changes I have made to the education funding bill are so important,” Gov. Rauner said. “With my changes, our state ensures that enough resources flow to children in the poorest and most disadvantaged school districts across the entire state. And my changes ensure that the education funding system in our state is fair and equitable to all students in Illinois.”

More than a year ago, Gov. Rauner established the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission. This group came together on a bipartisan basis to study the way Illinois funds its public schools, and to chart a path to a fairer and more equitable system.