- Published: Monday, October 31, 2016 09:27 AM
PLAINFIELD— State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is pushing for a solution that modernizes Illinois’ outdated education funding system and properly invests in students and schools.
“Our current education funding formula has to be improved,” said Bertino-Tarrant, a lifelong educator and former Regional Superintendent for Will County. “Too many students aren’t getting an opportunity to achieve academic success because of a lack of resources in the classroom.”
Bertino-Tarrant was appointed to the bipartisan Illinois School Funding Reform Commission this summer. The commission has started meeting and is reviewing the current funding formula and looking at how to fairly distribute state dollars to schools.
It is anticipated that the commission will take a look at past education funding reform proposals and determine what parts should be used in finding a way forward. The commission is charged with recommending changes to school funding by Feb. 1, 2017.
“While the commission’s meetings are useful, I would like to see results on education funding reform,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We need to do what’s right for our students and properly invest in their education. I look forward to continuing to work with the commission and am hoping that progress can be made.”
During this year’s legislative session, Bertino-Tarrant voted for two education funding reform proposals, Senate Bill 231 and House Bill 3190. Both proposals were passed by the Illinois Senate but not voted on in the Illinois House.
Bertino-Tarrant has also voted to increase state support for local schools.
“I voted in 2015 and 2016 for education budgets that included more money for our schools, but that doesn’t solve the problem that our formula is outdated and unfair to students and taxpayers,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Keep in mind that the Chicago Urban League is suing because the way the state funds education isn’t fair. The courts should not have to step in and address a problem the legislature can fix.”
In addition to the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission, State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) is also convening a group of stakeholders to discuss education funding reform.