Naperville area schools could lose $35 million in state funding under the proposed legislation, which would take money from the districts with higher resources and property taxes and give to those with less.
A panel representing Naperville School Districts 203 and 204, as well as various state legislators, gathered at the Chicago Marriott Naperville to discuss their views on the way education funds are managed.
“Senate Bill 16 now is a lousy way to do that, it did raise the fire alarm, it did cause great concern because it took $140 million in state aid to general education from DuPage County in its entirety,” said State Representative Ron Sandack (R). “$140 million, what that would have meant? Two things, a whole lot of cuts, and/or a whole lot more in property tax, that’s the bottom line.”
Leaders from District 203 and 204 are also against the bill, but others see it as an opportunity to jump-start a conversation about where state dollars should be distributed.
“This is a great chance for us to sit down and finally discuss education funding and how we can make it equitable,” said State Senator Linda Holmes (D). “It’s not equitable off of property taxes, Senate Bill 16 has winners and losers too, so we still need to do the work, but lets really start the discussion.”
Though the bill has already been passed in the Senate, there is still time to amend it before it goes up for a vote in the House.
The discussion on Senate Bill 16 will continue at the next Legislative Chamber Luncheon on December 8.
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