Numerous area communities potentially hurt by governor’s changes

Manar08032017SPRINGFIELD — Schools in Bloomington, Normal, Pontiac and Clinton and elsewhere could lose out on increased state funding because of the communities’ efforts to spur economic development, under provisions Gov. Bruce Rauner is trying to force into a school funding law.

“What Gov. Rauner has proposed without any negotiation is outrageous and yet another disservice to rural Illinois children who already attend schools that lack resources because of underfunding,” said State Senator Andy Manar, a downstate Bunker Hill Democrat and the lead sponsor of the school funding reform legislation found in Senate Bill 1.

The potential problem in McLean, Dewitt, Woodford and Livingston counties is the use of tax increment financing to try to encourage business investment.

Read more: Why Rauner’s veto is bad for Bloomington, Pontiac and Clinton area schools, economic development

Category: School Funding Reform

AWMJGBPEORIA – State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Bill, and state Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, joined local school superintendents and community leaders on Wednesday, Aug. 9, to discuss the devastating consequences that the governor’s veto of education funding reform would have on Peoria schools.

“Without Senate Bill 1, poor and middle-income schools will continue to suffer,” said Gordon-Booth. “Because of this hurtful amendatory veto, rural schools will be expected to keep functioning without sufficient resources. Downstate districts, like mine, will continue to lose money. Peoria Public Schools loses $1 million under the amendatory veto, even when more money is invested in education, because the formula is broken.”

Senate Bill 1, which creates an equitable school funding plan, would have fixed the state’s broken education funding system, and ensured that every school in Illinois saw increased funding. Despite his agreement with 90 percent of the legislation, Gov. Rauner issued an amendatory veto of the legislation, and cut funding to over 550 school districts, including Peoria School District 150.

Manar noted that Rauner’s introduced changes to Senate Bill 1 would punish schools for enrollment declines, thwart local economic development efforts and bar school districts from claiming voter-approved tax cap adjustments. These provisions unfairly harm downstate Illinois’ least-funded schools the most, including many here in central Illinois.

“I remain hopeful that we can find a path to a reasonable compromise to reforming Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation system for funding public schools,” said Manar, the sponsor of Senate Bill 1 and a longtime advocate for fixing the state’s more than 20-year-old school funding formula.

“One way or another we’re going to get this done. But fair school funding cannot include the economy-killing provisions that target central and southern Illinois communities that Gov. Rauner attached in his veto of Senate Bill 1.”

Category: School Funding Reform

ManarVand08092017VANDALIA – Schools in Vandalia, Ramsey, St. Elmo, Shelbyville, Effingham and Teutopolis are among those that would receive less state funding than they do now under Gov. Bruce Rauner’s changes to a landmark school funding reform measure that he vetoed last week.

Rauner’s veto would punish schools for enrollment declines, thwart local economic development efforts and bar school districts from claiming voter-approved tax cap adjustments.

Schools in Fayette, Shelby and Effingham counties would be most affected by the provision Rauner inserted into Senate Bill 1 affecting tax increment financing, or TIF, districts.

Fayette County has seven TIF districts, Shelby County has three and Effingham County has eight – all designed to turn around blighted properties and spur business development that might not otherwise occur.

The governor, however, has accused communities of using this long-standing economic development tool to hide local property tax wealth to get more state funding for schools. His veto of Senate Bill 1, school funding reform legislation, calls for having the state pretend TIF districts don’t exist so that local schools will qualify for less state aid.

Read more: Fayette, Shelby, Effingham County schools lose under Rauner’s veto

Category: School Funding Reform

Manar08012017LITCHFIELD – Schools in Litchfield, Hillsboro, Farmersville and Raymond are among those that would receive less state funding than they do now under Gov. Bruce Rauner’s changes to a landmark school funding reform measure that he vetoed last week.

Rauner’s veto would punish schools for enrollment declines, thwart local economic development efforts and bar school districts from claiming voter-approved tax cap adjustments.

Litchfield, Hillsboro and Farmersville would be most affected by the provision Rauner inserted into Senate Bill 1 affecting tax increment financing, or TIF, districts. Litchfield has three TIF districts, and Hillsboro and Farmersville each have one, all designed to turn around blighted properties and spur business development that might not otherwise occur.

The governor, however, has accused communities of using this long-standing economic development tool to hide local property tax wealth to get more state funding for schools. His veto of Senate Bill 1, school funding reform legislation, calls for having the state pretend TIF districts don’t exist so that local schools will qualify for less state aid.

“What Gov. Rauner has proposed without any negotiation is outrageous and yet another disservice to rural Illinois children who already attend schools that lack resources because of underfunding,” said Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and the chief Senate sponsor of Senate Bill 1.

Manar said the provisions the governor introduced into Senate Bill 1 by veto appear to be an attempt to shift significant costs away from the state and onto local school taxpayers. The effort is designed to force difficult conversations locally – raise property taxes to shoulder the burden, or take such steps as cutting teachers’ pay and benefits or consolidating school districts to save money.

Panhandle School District 2 in Raymond, which experienced an enrollment drop between fiscal years 15 and 16, is another district that could be negatively affected by the governor’s veto.

“Gov. Rauner – who didn’t even share his veto language in advance with Republican lawmakers negotiating Senate Bill 1 – is trying to back-door these provisions into law without discussing them with anyone, including the local mayors, parents, taxpayers and school superintendents who stand to be the most directly and dramatically affected by his secret plans,” Manar said.

“The people of these communities should be incensed and on the phone with their mayors and their state lawmakers demanding answers about why Bruce Rauner wants to hamper job creation in small towns, why he wants to punish schools for losing a few students, and why Republicans are going along with a plan that strikes at the heart of rural Illinois.”

Rauner vowed to release an analysis of his veto and how it would affect the financial outlook of all Illinois school districts on Monday, saying he expected the news to “carry the day.” However, a statement from the Illinois State Board of Education at midday Tuesday said a “significant error” involving TIF data from the Illinois Department of Revenue prevented ISBE from releasing its modeling.

 

Fact sheet: Rauner’s veto effects on Montgomery County schools

Tax increment finance districts
Farmersville
Hillsboro
Litchfield

Source: Illinois Department of Revenue

School districts that lost enrollment in 2016
Panhandle CUSD 2
Source: Illinois State Board of Education

Schools that claim PTELL adjustments
None in Montgomery County
PTELL: Property Tax Extension Limitation Law
Source: Illinois State Board of Education

Category: School Funding Reform

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