Last week, I was honored to co-host a town hall meeting about fixing the education funding formula with Staunton Schools Superintendent Dan Cox, Southwestern School District Superintendent Brad Skertich, State Sen. Andy Manar and other lawmakers from around the state.
At the town hall, we discussed Illinois’ broken school funding formula, currently the most inequitable in the country. While many schools in wealthy suburban districts have Olympic-sized swimming pools, downstate schools like ours have been forced to reduce teaching positions and eliminate programs. Our students are being left behind because of the current formula.
To fix the broken system, Sen. Manar has worked tirelessly with me and other local school superintendents for nearly four years. After hundreds of hours of public hearings and negotiations, we have finally arrived at Senate Bill 1, which recently passed both the Illinois House and Senate.
Under the new formula, hundreds of schools – mainly in rural, downstate communities – will receive thousands of additional dollars. Here in Macoupin County, the additional funds to our school districts include:
- Bunker Hill Community Unit School District: $199,727
- Carlinville Community Unit School District: $258,843
- Gillespie Community Unit School District 7: $623,673
- North Mac Community Unit School District 34: $410,982
- Southwestern Community Unit School District 9: $296,416
- Staunton Community School District 6: $353,874
Every school district in our area wins under this new formula. In fact, every school district in the state wins under Senate Bill 1.
Despite this, Gov. Rauner has been unclear on his intentions with the legislation. At the latest count, his position has changed five times in the last month alone. A full or partial veto – both of which he has suggested – could result in our school district losing all funding.
Please contact Gov. Rauner’s office at 217-782-0244 and ask him to support Senate Bill 1. The future of our schools depends on it.
Gillespie Community School District 7 Superintendent