Steve Stadelman sponsors bill to increase public school funding

 Online Staff Report

State Sen. Steve Stadelman
State Sen. Steve Stadelman

State Sen. Steve Stadelman, D-Rockford, has co-sponsored a bill that would give school districts in Winnebago, Boone and Stephenson counties more than $27 million in additional revenue.

The funding would be the result of a revised formula unveiled by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) this week, Stadelman’s office announced Friday, May 9.

The calculations by the ISBE are based on a new way of distributing state education funds under Senate Bill 16 (SB16), introduced by State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, and co-sponsored by Stadelman. The bill would provide more assistance to school districts with high poverty and low property values that do not generate enough tax revenue for education.

“Where a student lives shouldn’t dictate the quality of education that child receives,” Stadelman said. “The numbers clearly show that poorer school districts do better under this new formula.”

The state school board projects that Rockford Public School District 205 would receive an additional $18.5 million (17.5 percent increase) under a new distribution method that ties state assistance more to need than Illinois’ current system.

Other school districts that would benefit from new system include Belvidere ($3.1 million, 12.1 percent increase), Freeport ($3 million, 18.1 percent increase), Harlem ($2 million, 8.7 percent increase), Hononegah ($101,000, 2.2 percent increase) and North Boone ($926,000, 17.1 percent increase).

Stadelman and Manar met last month with local school superintendents to brief them on the legislation and answer questions. The legislation has since been sent by the Senate Executive Committee to the full Senate for consideration.

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