Springfield…. With session coming to an end on Wednesday, House Democrats rushed a vote on a new school funding formula, Senate Bill 1, which Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) opposed. Severin says the bill would provide Chicago Public Schools with a bailout while offering hollow promises to the rest of the state. Some schools in Severin’s district may be set to gain financially from a new funding formula; however language in SB 1 does not include appropriations or define any methods of paying for the spending.
“Without money, this bill is an empty promise,” Severin said. “SB 1 has been debated and worked on for months in the Senate, but was amended and dropped on my desk on the last days of session. In the short time I had to consider the legislation, I learned that the bill would provide Chicago with a more than $500 million windfall that will only continue to grow over the years. With the state already owing schools more than $1 billion this year and no way identified to pay for this new bill, I simply can’t support this Chicago bailout.
“This is not the way to go about changing the funding formula for the whole state. SB 1 disproportionately funds Chicago and relies on magic math and money with empty promises. There has been a lot of misleading information about this bill but I voted no because it simply cannot keep the promises it makes.”