November 22, 2014

Greetings Families & Friends of Medinah District #11, 

Medinah School District 11 stands to lose $472,588 (81%) of state educational funds due to the School Funding Reform Act of 2014, also known as SB16.  This has already passed the Illinois Senate in May 2014.  I urge you to contact your local legislator, Dennis M. Reboletti at RepReboletti@gmail.com to express your concern on this potential loss in education funds.  SB16 is currently being reviewed in the House and will possibly be voted on in November.

Last July, the Illinois Senate Education Funding Advisory Committee was tasked with recommending ways to improve public education funding in Illinois, which has remained unchanged since 1997.

For the past 7 years, with no increase funding from the state, Illinois school districts have experienced continued educational funding cuts and unfunded educational mandates. This bill is just shifting money without increasing public education funding, which Illinois already ranks 50th in the nation. - U.S. Department of Education

If enacted into law, SB16 will make sweeping changes in how the state funds education and those changes will have a negative impact on District 11.

The state's current system has multiple funding sources, each with seperate rules and regulations. The committee recommeded that 96 percent of state education dollars be combined under one funding formula, with the exception of funds for early childhood education, capital projects and special education. The recommendation of creating of funding formula is aimed at providing greater equity among districts throughout the state.

SB16 does not increase the level of education funding, but changes the way in which limited state funding is distributed to school districts.  Generally, school districts with higher assessed property values will receive much less state funding.  Other districts will receive much more in state funding.  As written, SB16 provides special cost benefit to Chicago Public Schools.  Under SB16, the state will now assume teacher pension costs for Chicago Public Schools, which represents a substantial cost savings for their district. SB16 also does not address the issue of the state not being able to meet its current obligations to fund education.  For the past three years, the state has underfunded all school districts by 11 percent.

What can you do?

We are asking parents to contact your Representative and ask them to vote NO on SB16.  District 11 is served by the following Representatives: State Senators Thomas Cullerton (630) 903-6662 and Dan Kotowski (847) 656-5414; and State Representatives Dennis Reboletti (email: dennisreboletti@sbcglobal.net) or (630) 530-2730, Deborah Conroy (email: repdebconroy@gmail.com) or (630) 415-3520 and Michelle Mussman (email: staterepmussman@gmail.com) or (847)923-9104.  Please voice your opinion on this important education bill.  

Sincerely,

Dr. John K. Butts, Superintendent