MinookaPrimaryCenter8.28.18 RSPLAINFIELD— August 31 marks the one year anniversary of the passage of monumental school funding reform.

The drastic school funding overhaul became law last year thanks to efforts from both parties in the House and Senate.  

Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) this week took time to reflect on the effort which established an evidence-based funding formula to dispense state dollars to public schools.

“Our goal is to guarantee all Illinois’ children are given the opportunity to succeed,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This year we are one step closer to ending education inequalities that exist within our communities by funding our schools the right way. I’m proud to say we worked together to fix a broken system.”

The formula institutes a base funding minimum that serves to ensure school districts do not lose state dollars year after year. As a result of this new school funding formula, schools across Illinois received $350 million in additional funding this year. Public schools across the 49th State Senate District received more than $22 million in new money for the 2018-2019 school year.

“The evidence-based formula distributes funds to students in a more equitable way than the foundation formula, and District 86 has benefited from that distribution,” Dr. Theresa R. Rouse, Superintendent of Joliet Public Schools District 86 said. “The funding reform bill ensures that Joliet Public Schools District 86 can continue to work towards its mission of equity.”   
The distribution – which is based on detailed enrollment figures, district-specific student learning needs, available local resources and 27 other elements – is the first step toward right-sizing state support for every school district.

“We appreciate the bipartisan efforts of the General Assembly and the assertive leadership exhibited regarding the revisions made to the funding formula for public education for the students of the State of Illinois,” Dr. Lane Abrell, Superintendent of Plainfield CCSD 202 said.

The funding plan outlined in the new law includes a minimum funding level of $350 million in additional funding each year, with the goal of meeting the total statewide adequacy target over a period of time.

Bertino-Tarrant pledges to continue to shepherd public schools across Will County and the state toward 100 percent adequacy funding.

Bertino Tarrant2016cPLAINFIELD – To make college more affordable, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) spearheaded a new measure to increase availability of dual-credit classes in Illinois.

Bertino-Tarrant’s initiative, Senate Bill 2838, requires a public university or community colleges to work with local high schools to grant dual credit to a student who completes an accredited course. It was signed into law on Thursday.

“While the cost of college continues to escalate nationwide, dual-credit provides a great economic benefit for families and students by empowering students to accumulate college credit while still in high school,” Bertino-Tarrant said “As the mother of a high school junior, I know what parents are going through. Like any other parents, I want my children to graduate from college with many opportunities, not mountains of student loan debt.”

Dual enrollment allows students to get credit for postsecondary coursework that is completed when they are still in high school. Bertino-Tarrant said it is a promising approach to improving academic outcomes for student by preparing them for college and helping them meet general requirements while in high school.

“There is no better way to prepare students for college than to give them a hands-on experience at a local public university or community college,” Bertino-Tarrant said.  

Research has shown that student participation in dual enrollment curriculum often leads to improved academic outcomes, especially for students from low-income backgrounds and first generation college students. Students who enroll in dual-credit courses are more likely to get better grades in high school and to pursue a secondary education.

Under this bipartisan law, students are allowed to receive up to 60 hours of dual credit.

“We need to continue to explore ways to make college more affordable and help students graduate without loads of debt,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

Senate Bill 2838 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. It goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

021418 KS 9889PLAINFIELD – A new law in the Illinois aims to give veterans, minorities, women and disabled individuals the tools to launch business start-ups in Illinois.

State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is the sponsor of the law, Senate Bill 43, which strengthens the small business loan program that was enacted last legislative session under her leadership, was signed into law on Friday.   

Senate Bill 43 ties up a technicality to allow for the administration of loans and expands upon the existing program to help encourage businesses to open up shop in communities across the state.

“Illinois’s economy relies heavily on small businesses,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Expanding the scope of this vital loan program will help encourage small businesses to make Illinois their home.”

It will also allow the Illinois Finance Authority to administer an increase in low-interest agri-business loans.
This program will serve as a strong resource to Illinois veterans. 

Nearly half of World War II veterans and 40 percent of Korean War veterans went on to own or operate a business, according to Syracuse University‘s Institute for Veterans and Military Families. But now less than seven percent of returning veterans own their own businesses, in part because veterans have fewer resources than their predecessors did.

“Our veterans have made great sacrifices to protect our country,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It’s our duty to empower them to channel the life skills and training they received in the field as they transition back to civilian life.”

Senate Bill 43 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The new law goes into effect immediately.

Bertino-Tarrant urges potential entrepreneurs to visit www.il-fa.com to learn more about this loan program or contact her Plainfield office at (815) 254-4211 for more information.

13032018KS0485 smPLAINFIELD — Illinois students will have additional opportunities to lower the out-of-pocket costs of their college education thanks to State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

Bertino-Tarrant championed Senate Bill 2527 to prohibit school boards from limiting the number of dual-credit courses taken by a student. It was signed into law Friday.

“Dual-credit courses offer great economic benefits to families,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “As the mother of a high school sophomore, I know what parents are going through. Like any other parent, I want my children to graduate college full of opportunities, not burdened with student loans.”

Dual credit, which allows students to enroll in postsecondary coursework while still enrolled in high school, is a promising approach to improving academic outcomes for students, Bertino-Tarrant said.

“These courses help prepare students for college coursework while meeting general high school requirements,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “They are also much more cost effective than waiting to take the courses at a college or university.”

Under Senate Bill 2527, dual-credit courses must be taught by an instructor as outlined by the Illinois school code or by a licensed teacher or community college professor or instructor in Illinois.

The new law also requires a school board to award high school credit to a student for dual-credit coursework unless the course's rigor and content does not meet the Illinois Learning Standard.

“College can be expensive,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This new law will give our students a chance to save money while better preparing them for higher education courses.”
Senate Bill 2527 passed with bipartisan support and will take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

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