I am extremely concerned about a committee hearing that has been scheduled in Springfield to gather testimony about SB16, a bill that would strip millions away from suburban Cook County schools and channel the money toward Chicago Public Schools and other downstate school districts. Today I am asking you to take an active role in helping me to stop this detrimental bill by taking a few minutes to formally file your opposition to SB16 with the committees that will hear testimony next week.
When legislators in the collar counties were holding SB16 information meetings over the last month, we were repeatedly promised by the Chief House Sponsor of SB16 that she would not be calling it for a vote anytime soon. The sponsor even went so far as to contact local superintendents who were attending our local forum on October 21 in Arlington Heights to share her promise. With a new General Assembly to be seated in less than two months, the timing of this hearing is very concerning. It suggests that the bill may be brought for a vote in the upcoming lame duck session.
Specifically, the school districts located within the boundaries of legislative House District 54 stand to lose the following amounts of General State Aid if SB16 is approved:
- Community Consolidated School District 15: $11,125,664 loss per year
- Township High School District 211: $7,955,584 loss per year
- Barrington School District 220: $5,391,021 loss per year
- Community Consolidated School District 59: $5,923,650 loss per year
- Township High School District 214: $7,471,089 loss per year
- Arlington Heights School District 25: $3,286,613 loss per year
The bill has been scheduled for a 3:00 PM subject matter hearing on Tuesday, November 18, before a joint meeting of the Appropriations- Elementary & Secondary Education Committee and the House Elementary & Secondary Education Committee. Filing opposition to the bill is a simple process that only takes a few minutes. If you are interested in having your voice heard on this bill, please use these directions:
- Go to www.ilga.gov
- Scroll down the page and click on GA Dashboard (in red ink along the left side of the page)
- Click on the Register icon and fill in your information (registration is recommended but not required)
- Click on House, Committee Hearings, and then on the “Month” tab
- Click on the piece of paper icon to the right of the listed hearing (November 18th, Appropriations- Elementary & Secondary Education)
- Click on Create witness slip
- Fill out the form
- In the area marked “Representation,” put “taxpayer” or “School District taxpayer” or some other identifying wording
- In the “subject matter” portion click “opponent”
- Under “Testimony” you can have your written comments supplied to all board members. This is optional. Emailed testimony is not accepted. You may fax your written statement to 217-557-2165 or you may mail it to Illinois State House, Room 426, 401 S. Second Street, Springfield, IL 62706. Make sure that your written testimony is clearly marked at the top of the page: SB16 Testimony, and your name.
- Fill in verification code
- Click the box to accept the terms
- Click Submit
A “Frequently Asked Questions” document is available for those who have additional questions about the process. That document is available at: http://my.ilga.gov/Home/FAQ .
We all need to work together to preserve the education funding that our suburban school districts receive, and I would appreciate your participation in this important Call to Action.