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Republicans lead on education reform

Passed during the week by the House and Senate, Senate Bill 1947 utilizes data and widely-accepted best practices to determine how to send funding where it is needed most and where it will help the most students. The evidence-based model relies on 27 sets of data to determine the actual costs for each school district to provide an adequate education for the students, which is referred to as an adequacy target. Funding is then prioritized to the schools that are the furthest from their adequacy target.

The legislation also contains meaningful mandate relief for school districts, helping them to reduce costs and put more dollars into in-classroom-learning. It also creates a mechanism to provide property tax relief to struggling families as well as a new program to offer parents more choices in determining where to send their children for the best possible education.

The new evidence-based model to distribute funding to schools is a requirement of the recently passed budget. Senate Bill 1947 was signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner on Aug. 31.

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