Rezin and downstate lawmakers: Fully fund education formula first

Springfield, Ill. – State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) joined several of her Senate Republican colleagues on May 22 to introduce new legislation, Senate Bill 3664, that will re-establish the “Foundation Level” as the number one funding priority in Illinois’ education system.  She is a co-sponsor of the legislation.

View Sen. Rezin’s comments during the press conference introducing SB 3664

Sen. Rezin said that the best way to help all Illinois schools is to fully fund the state’s “Foundation Level” education grant.

Just last week on May 13, Sen. Rezin had administrators, educators and board members from Streator travel to Springfield to share their concerns regarding funding for Streator Elementary School District #44.  They expressed their extreme concern over the continued proration of General State Aid funding and delayed categorical payments by the state.

“Streator Elementary School District has cut their budget by over $5.3 million and borrowed millions more to continue operating, yet they still had to cut programs and eliminate several positions,” Sen. Rezin said.  “This is due to the state’s delinquency in funding education.  It is a snapshot of what is happening all over the state and something must change.  The Foundation Level should be the number one education funding priority in Illinois.  This legislation takes the step to ensure that is the case.”

Senate Bill 3664 requires the Foundation Level grant within the state’s General State Aid formula be funded at 100 percent before directing education dollars to any other grant lines or programs. Rezin said this would be a simple, common sense approach that could be implemented in this year’s budget.

Sen. Rezin said that there is still time to make education the number one priority in the budget and fully fund schools throughout the state, unlike past years.  As part of the Education Funding Advisory Committee which was created by the Senate in response to a March 2013 school funding report, Rezin said all members of the committee agreed that there are gross inequities in funding throughout the state and education funding reform is needed.  

“I really urge my colleagues in both chambers to make this the number one priority,” Sen. Rezin said.  “It’s unfortunate that we have to legislate making this a priority, but the children of Illinois deserve that treatment from the state.” 

Sen. Rezin is pictured above during the May 22 press conference in Springfield on Senate Bill 3664, where she spoke specifically about the visitors from Streator Elementary School District #44 and held up a picture from their visit to the Capitol on May 13.

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