Senate Bill 1124 'does a better job' of fixing the school aid formula, Barickman says
As the new school year quickly approaches, Illinois schools are still waiting for a battle of bills to decide the future of state’s school funding formula and determine if some will be able to open their doors in August.
While the new state budget does include about $350 million more for schools throughout the state, it does not contain the new evidence-based method of allocating the money to schools.
Separate legislation is needed to ensure some schools have the money assigned by the new funding formula in order fully function for the year.
Two different bills, SB1 and SB1124, are taking on the issue of the state’s school funding formula in order create a more equitable distribution of money for Illinois schools. SB1 has passed both the Illinois Senate and House but has yet to be sent to the governor. Gov. Bruce Rauner has said he will veto SB1 if it comes to his desk.
“An objective analysis of that legislation [SB1] concludes that it falls well short of fulfilling this goal of a fair and equitable solution,” Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) said.
Barickman recently introduced SB1124, which he claimed is a compromise to SB1 because it is similar to SB1 but under his bill, all 852 school districts are in a fair and equitable evidence-based system and ensures no school districts loses money.
Rauner has voiced support for the bill, should it pass, but the Assembly has yet to vote on the legislation.
“The reality is when you combine the good ideas of the Republicans and the and Democrats, you get a better product,” Barickman said. “That’s what Rep. Pritchard and I have done in our legislation SB 1124 and his HB 4069. We have combined the good ideas put forward by democrats and republicans and put those in legislation,” Barickman said.
Rauner claims SB1 turned out to be a bailout for Chicago Public Schools because it adds money for base funding minimum for just (CPS) Democrats wanted to embed the value of that grant into the base funding in SB1. SB 1124 offers to fund some of the value into the Chicago base for specific funding to areas like summer school.
Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) criticized Barickman for introducing SB 1124 weeks after the spring session ended and for opposing SB1 so strongly which is supported by many in the education profession, according to Manar.