McConnauhay Says New State Aid to Education Law Provides No Property Tax Relief, Roll Call

A press release from State Senator Karen McConnaughay::

Sen. McConnaughay: School-funding plan does not address local needs

SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles) says she could not support school funding reform legislation approved by the Senate Aug. 29, because it does not provide the property tax relief and education mandate relief needed by schools in Kane and McHenry counties.

“We had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enact school-funding reform that treats all districts and students fairly, regardless of their ZIP code.

“For our schools, that means property tax relief and mandate relief. We got close, but it is unfortunate that we did not quite reach our goal. It was not enough,” McConnaughay said.

“I was a member of the Senate Education Committee and the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission.

“I sat through the meetings.

“I heard the testimony. I reviewed all the options.

“So I know that education funding reform could have been so much more,” McConnaughay added.

Passed by the House on Aug. 28 and by the Senate on Aug. 29, Senate Bill 1947 replaces the state’s outdated school funding formula with a new evidence-based model that utilizes data and widely-accepted best practices to determine how to send funding where it is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 data sets 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.

“Even with all the extras, Senate Bill 1947 is still a partisan school funding plan that gives up too much to one school district, CPS, at the expense of students in Kane, and McHenry counties,”

McConnaughay said. “It does not give our schools, which are phenomenal, what we need. There is not enough mandate relief. There is not enough property tax relief.”

Senate Bill 1947 is now headed to Gov. Bruce Rauner who is expected to sign it into law.

Sen. McConnaughay says she remains committed to passing legislation that will provide mandate relief to local schools and property tax relief to local taxpayers.


McConnauhay Says New State Aid to Education Law Provides No Property Tax Relief, Roll Call — 11 Comments

  1. “I heard the testimony.”


    Illinois General Assembly: Stop wasting taxpayer money.

    Put testimony on YouTube.

    Testimony should be available on YouTube for public viewing.

    We pay the salaries and benefits.

    Show us the testimony.

  2. As usual Chicago ,democrat Madigans cronies get the largest piece of the pie.

    When will they put an end to contributing to teacher pensions and put the money where it belongs? They can save their own money.


  3. To quote Miles Mathis, …”You could create a successful form of government with a porpoise pushing levers by chance in a large aquarium, as long as the extent of that government was limited to maintaining roads and hanging highwaymen.”…

  4. Senate Bill 1947 (SB 1947) was signed into state law as Public Act 100-0465 (PA 100-0465) today August 31, 2017 by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

    The prior rendition that was being worked on was Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), which the House failed to override Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto.


    SB 1947 has many parts:

    – It is a big, complex, wide ranging bill and have yet to find one easy to read source of information of what is in it from a taxpayer layman perspective, so use this as an overview and not a definitive list with precise language (check the exact details elsewhere if one wants to definitely know the details).

    – Hikes spending on public education by around $350M per year for the next 10 years, per Wirepoints blog.

    – Includes a new funding model to distribute state revenues to local school districts.

    – No school district receives less money than the old funding model (hold harmless).

    – Most school districts receive more money than the old funding model.

    – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) receives lots more money than the old funding model.


    – Hikes standing funding to the Chicago Teacher Pension Fund (CTPF) from $12M to $221M, for 2018.

    That will cover the normal contribution, which is the current year contribution for employees currently employed (as opposed to paying down the unfunded liabiity).

    CTPF is the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) pension fund.

    CTPF is different a different pension fund than TRS and IMRF which are used by school districts outside Chicago.


    – Individuals and businesses can donate money (receiving a 75 cents on the dollar tax credit up to the maximum tax credit of $1M) to be used for tuition for low income and other students at private schools.

    The maximum total tax credits for the program is $75M.

    This is known as a scholarship tax credit program.


    – Allows the Chicago Board of Education to hike its tax levy by $120M (Chicago may or may not do that).


    – Reduces state mandates for physical education classes.


    – Voters in well-funded districts can petition to lower property taxes.


    – More.


    – Advocates working on this bill included Stand for Children, Advance Illinois, and a consortium known as Funding Illinois Future which had a Fix The Formula campaign.


    Bottom line.

    This law hikes taxpayer dollars expended on public education, and thus state contributions to pension funds, by $350M (Wirepoints estimate).

    Simultaneously, another law that recently passed lowered state contributions to the state pension funds by smoothing.

    That other bill is Senate Bill 6 (SB 6) which was signed into law as Public Act 100-0021 (PA 100-0021) on July 6, 2017 by Governor Bruce Rauner.

    SB 6 / PA 100-0021 was one of the three budget bills, and is also known as the Appropriations Bill and Spending Bill.

    The other two budget bills were:

    Senate Bill 9 (SB 9), known as the Revenue Bill, which included the hike to the state income tax, which was signed into law as Public Act 100-0022 on July 6, 2017 by Bruce Rauner.

    Senate Bill 42 (SB 42), the Budget Implementation Bill (BIMP), which was signed into law as Public Act 100-0023 (PA 100-0023) on July 6, 2017 by Bruce Rauner.

    This happened with minimal pension reform.

    In other words, no substantial progress on fixing the #1 financial problem in the State of Illinois (state and local levels), which is underfunded pensions, and hiked taxes for public education, which will hike pensions.

    More hiking spending on public education which hikes contributions to underfunded pension funds.

  5. A school is a place where children are educated. A school is also any institution at which instruction is given in a particular discipline. Thank you. Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  6. Calling all commentators, please make a copy of our Fallen Angel’s comment This could come back and haunt him.

    Teachers and Administrators, are going to answer many questions, down the road. Tick Toc

  7. The Illinois Education Association (IEA) teacher union recommended that Governor Rauner not sign SB 1947.

    But, there were no mass protests, calls to action, phone banking, etc.

    So was it a sincere request?

    Or a request to pacify a certain segment of the IEA?


    Illinois Education Association

    Bill Passes That Changes Ed Funding, Adds Vouchers, Rolls Back Drivers’ Ed, PE

    August 29, 2017

    “The Illinois Senate on Tuesday passed a school funding plan that revamps the way schools are funded, but also implements a temporary voucher program and allows districts to ask for fewer physical education classes and hire outside companies for drivers education classes.”

    “IEA President Kathi Griffin urged Rauner not to sign the bill because it takes money away from public education and gives it to wealthy tax donors through a personal tax break in the same bill that finally provides fair funding to Illinois schools – and there is no funding set aside for this voucher program.”


    Prior to that, the IEA was urging the passage of the predecessor to SB 1947, which was Senate Bill 1 (SB 1).


    The other statewide teacher union in Illinois is the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT).

    The IFT also opposed SB 1947.


    Illinois Federation of Teachers

    Legislative Update 8.29.17

    The evidence-based model of school funding contained in SB 1 remains largely intact in this measure.

    However, there were some changes and key additions included which forced the IFT to oppose the legislation.”


    Similar to IEA, the IFT had no mass protests, phone banking, calls to action, or other mass action to lobby the Governor against signing SB 1947.


    So, what’s going on?

    Does SB 1947 give IEA and IFT ammunition to fire up the rank and file to vote for a Democrat Governor?

    Is this another scheme by the Democrats to defeat Rauner?


    We have yet to see from the IEA or IFT a comprehensive analysis of SB 1947.

    Maybe it is coming.

    Maybe it isn’t.

    Most significantly, not a peep from IEA or IFT about how SB 1947 (PA 100-0465) plus SB 6 (PA 100-0021) collectively diverted funding from pensions to education.

    A tried and true trick repeated many years between 1971 – 2011.

    Part of the reason we have massively underfunded pensions.

    But no mass protests from the teacher unions about the scheme.

    They speak out about aspects of both bills.

    But they don’t connect the dots for taxpayers.

    We will hear again someday, a pension is a promise.

    But we don’t hear that when they want more funding for education.

  8. Heartland Institute

    Press Release

    Heartland Institute Experts Reacts to Passage of Illinois Senate Bill 1947

    August 29, 2017

    by Lennie Jarratt, Tim Benson, Arianna Wilkerson, Justin Haskins

    “Illinois lawmakers will continue to fight over education funding until they learn to focus on students and not the school districts and teachers’ pension funds.” – Lennie Jarratt

    The bill includes a $100 million tax-credit scholarship (TCS) program (providing donors to the program with a credit worth up to 75 percent of their total state tax liability), $450 million in additional funding for the Chicago Public Schools system, and will allow the City of Chicago to increase property taxes by $130 million.”

    “This is not a voucher program.”

  9. This comment is regarding the temporary (5 year?) tax-credit scholarship (TCS) program that is included in SB 1947 (PA 100-0465).

    The TCS is for qualifying low income students in a qualifying under performing public school district who want to attend a private school.


    Chicago City Wire

    Chicago School District 299 Students To Be Eligible for Private School Scholarships in New State Program

    August 31, 2017

    “A breakdown from the Illinois Policy Institute reveals the criteria for eligibility: A district must include at least one school ranking in the bottom 10 percent in terms of student performance or a school with a graduation rate of less than 60 percent.”


    So families must reside in an eligible district.

    And as previously indicated, the family must qualify based on family income.

    And there are additional rules.

  10. McHenry Times

    August 31, 2017

    Harvard, District 300 Students to be Eligible for Private School Scholarships in New State Program

    “In McHenry County, students who meet income criteria in the following school districts are eligible for the scholarships:

    – Community Unit School District 300

    – Harvard Community Unit School District 50.”


    Not sure if qualifying students in all schools in those district are eligible, but here are the schools in those districts.



    Algonquin Lakes Elementary, Algonquin.

    deLacey Family Education Center, Carpentersville.

    Dundee Highlands Elementary, West Dundee.

    Eastview Elementary, Algonquin.

    Gilberts Elementary School, Gilberts.

    Golfview Elementary, Carpentersville.

    Hampshire Elementary, Hampshire.

    Lake in the Hills Elementary, Lake in the Hills.

    Lakewood School, Carpentersville.

    Liberty Elementary, Carpentersville.

    Lincoln Prairie Elementary, Lake in the Hills.

    Meadowdale Elementary, Carpentersville.

    Neubert Elementary, Algonquin.

    Parkview Elementary, Carpentersville.

    Perry Elementary, Carpentersville.

    Sleepy Hollow Elementary, Sleepy Hollow.

    Westfield Community School, Algonquin.

    Wright Elementary School, Hampshire.



    Algonquin Middle School, Algonquin.

    Carpentersville Middle School, Carpentersville.

    Dundee Middle School, Dundee.

    Hampshire Middle School, Hampshire.

    Westfield Middle School, Algonquin.



    Dundee-Crown High School, Carpentersville.

    Jacobs High School, Algonquin.

    Hampshire High School, Hampshire.



    Oak Ridge School, Carpentersville.



    Cambridge Lakes Charter School, Pingree Grove


    Harvard CUSD 50 Schools:

    Washington School (pre-kindergarten students)

    Crosby Elementary School

    Jefferson Elementary School

    Harvard Jr High School

    Harvard High School


    It will be interesting to see how parents learn the details of the tax-credit scholarship program.

    Doesn’t seem as if the school districts would be too excited promoting the program, as every student results in more revenue for a school district.

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