The biggest takeaways from the state's funding bill that awaits - – Rockford’s News Leader

The biggest takeaways from the state's funding bill that awaits Governor Rauner's signature


Illinois is one step closer to a agreeing on a funding formula for the state's schools. 

One Tuesday senators voted 38-13 in favor of House Amendment 5 to Senate Bill 1947. The same measure dramatically passed through the House on Monday, with representatives rejecting it on its first vote.  

Then democrats tried to override Governor Rauner's veto of Senate Bill One. When that failed, they passed the most current measure on the second vote. 

So what does this mean for Rockford?

  • According to RPS 205 Superintendent Dr. Ehren Jarrett, the district will receive over $5 million in addition to the guaranteed state aid.
  • RPS 205 says it's still missing payment from the state on one of its categorical mandates.  Jarrett says this is over $12 million the state still owes the district. 
  • $75 million in tax credits will be set aside for those who make donations to private school scholarships. How this scholarship money will be allocated out and how much local districts can expect to see is unclear at this moment.  But the historic change could mean students who couldn't afford a private education before, could now have better access to that opportunity. 
  • The measure sets aside around $450 million in new money for Chicago Public Schools.
  • Governor Rauner's office says he plans to sign the bill into law on Thursday. 
  • Illinois Comptroller Susan Mendoza says her office is prepared to release $540 million in general state aid that's owed to schools as soon as Rauner signs the bill and the her office receives the Board of Education vouchers. 
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