State Senator Julie Morrison (D - Deerfield) released the following update this afternoon on the passage of school funding reform:

Yesterday afternoon, the Senate passed a plan that fundamentally changes the way Illinois funds its public schools. I acknowledge that this multifaceted proposal has elements I do not support, including the inclusion of a pilot tax credit program which will use public funds for private schooling. The underlying changes that were carried over from Senate Bill 1 into this bill, however, will move Illinois out of last place when it comes to our education funding system.

Specifically, Senate Bill 1947 does the following:

  • Increases state funding to economically challenged districts while ensuring no district loses funding;
  • Creates a bipartisan TIF task force to study the relationship between these districts and school funding;
  • Creates a method for communities to reduce property taxes via referendum. This will create a vigorous discussion of local property taxes and the quality of our schools;
  • Protects collective bargaining rights for teachers; and
  • Maintains local control for drivers education and physical education classes.

This proposal will support struggling school districts like North Chicago School District 187, provide the opportunity for property tax relief for suburban homeowners and give school districts the stability and certainty they need.