District 204 Update

Senate Bill 231, previously known as Senate Bill 16 and Senate Bill 1, aims to redistribute funds throughout Illinois school districts. However 204 believes this is not true funding reform.

“On paper, it would look like we break even, that we don’t lose money or we don’t gain money. So some people might think that’s a win because in other areas in DuPage County there’s some big losers,” said Dr. Karen Sullivan, Superintendent of IPSD 204.

But the bill also requires several funding grants, also known as appropriations, to pass through the general assembly including the original funding formula, an adequacy grant and a whole harmless grant.

If the money doesn’t come through, the district could lose roughly $9.8 million in funding, making it the second largest district in the state to take a hit.

“We totally agree that the school funding formula needs to be revised and reformed, and there are districts in desperate need, we just don’t feel like this is the fix that should be codified into law,” added Sullivan.

Sullivan suggests that each school district receive at least the same level of funding that was provided in fiscal year 16, and distribute any additional funds to those districts in need.

And at their latest board meeting, a recent review showed 326 students in District 204 received out of school suspensions this year.

Although this only accounts for roughly one percent of the student body, district administrators want to see this number reduced moving forward.

“The focus will continue to be on each individual incident and how that occurs in relation to the school environment and also the school safety piece of it,” said Louis Lee, Assistant Superintendent of High Schools.

Currently, Indian Prairie offers several social emotional interventions for students including behavior support plans, mentoring programs and components of restorative justice.

Naperville News 17’s Rachel Pierson reports.

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