The Summit Hill District 161 Board of Education and Supt. Barb Rains are promoting an awareness campaign to reach Summit Hill residents concerning Senate Bill 16, the School Funding Reform Act of 2014. The bill was approved by the Senate last spring. The House has not acted on the bill. However, there may be a possibility that the bill may be brought for a vote during the Illinois legislative lame duck session in November.
“As written, the bill could shift nearly the entire financial responsibility of education to local taxpayers in Summit Hill School District. Currently, District 161 receives 87.4% of its revenue from local taxpayers, 9.7% of revenue from the state, and 2.9% from federal sources. If Senate Bill 16 becomes law, District 161 would lose $2.6 million or 81% of its current state educational funding. The District would have to take action to retain a balanced budget,” said Supt. Rains.
Senate Bill 16 combines almost all categories of state funding into a single calculation for the state’s funding of schools. The proposed formula is complex, taking into account enrollment and poverty levels, among other factors. Senate Bill 16 does not take fiscal responsibility or academic performance into consideration. Senate Bill 16 provides no additional funding for public education; it merely redistributes the current pool of state resources,” noted Supt. Rains.
The District is urging residents to contact local elected officials to express concerns regarding Senate Bill 16:
Rep. Renée Kosel
Rep. Al Riley
Sen. District Michael Hastings
The Illinois State Board of Education is offering a series of public hearings across the state to gather opinions and ideas regarding education resources and funding as the State Board develops its budget recommendation typically sent to the General Assembly and Governor in January. This year the hearings will also offer attendees an opportunity to voice feedback on Senate Bill 16. Testimony from the budget hearings regarding Senate Bill 16 will be shared with legislators and ISBE staff. There are two options available to communicate your opinions about Senate Bill 16:
• E-mail ISBE at: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Offer feedback at a scheduled state budget hearing:
Nov. 10 from 3 to 5 p.m. in Quincy: Adams County Health Dept, 330 Vermont St.
Nov. 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. in Round Lake: Magee Middle School, 500 Cedar Lake Rd.
Nov. 17 from 3:45 to 5:45 p.m. in Granite City: GCHS Atrium, 3101 Madison Ave.
Nov. 21 from 3 to 5 p.m. in Chicago: Thompson Center, 100 West Randolph St.
Parents are welcome to recognize District 161 staff members who go above and beyond! Each school and the District Administrative Center is sporting a “Wall of Gratitude” where parents, staff members, and community members can post words of appreciation and thanks for the efforts of our staff members in helping District 161 students succeed. All staff members are eligible for recognition. Recognition forms are available on the District website (bottom right corner). Each month honorees will be recognized during a Board of Education meeting as part of the implementation of Board Goal #2.
School community members may access their school and district State Report Card beginning October 31 at: http://illinoisreportcard.com