Senator Steans

August 14, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Yesterday I voted to override the governor’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, a landmark school funding reform measure. With this vote, students across Illinois are one step closer to a fair school funding formula for the first time in decades.

 

Senator Steans in a committee hearingSenate Bill 1 implements an evidence-based school funding model which uses 27 evidence-based practices to improve student achievement. It strives to level the playing field by funneling new money into school districts that are the least able to offer a high-quality education based on student needs, local property wealth and a district’s taxing effort. Under Senate Bill 1, no school district would receive less funding than it did in Fiscal Year 2017.

 

Though this legislation has been debated and negotiated over the course of four years, the governor made over 100 changes to Senate Bill 1 in his amendatory veto. He issued his veto before he had full economic modeling about how his provisions would affect each school district. His veto removed equity for Chicago by stripping Chicago Public Schools of nearly $500 million in funding and created uncertainty for districts across the state.

 

In his veto, the governor tied funding to enrollment, which would negatively impact districts that are already struggling. He also removed the minimum funding level and pitted economic development against education by punishing areas with Tax Increment Financing districts and property tax caps. Under the governor’s plan, the assessed value of TIF districts would be included in the overall assessed value of the district, which is used to calculate how much state funding a school district receives. Most TIF revenue is not available to schools.

 

Though most school districts have stated that schools will open this fall, some have indicated that without state aid, they may close as soon as October. This would have a devastating impact on our communities and classrooms.

 

The motion to override now moves to the House, which may take up the measure as soon as Wednesday. In order to pass, three-fifths of members must vote to override the governor’s veto. I will keep you updated on how this legislation progresses.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

Backpack and school supply drive

 

Our annual sponsor-a-student backpack drive has been extended until August 18. Please click here to review the list of supplies we are collecting and click here to sign up for the drive.

Backpack and school supply drive flyer

 

District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) issued the following statement on the Senate’s action to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1:

Senator Steans on the Senate floor“The governor attempted to remove equity for Chicago from Senate Bill 1 in his amendatory veto and force Chicago Public Schools’ students to pay for a pension problem they did not create. To be truly equitable, school funding reform must recognize the fact that Chicago is the only school district in the state that is responsible for its own pension payments. Senate Bill 1 corrects this inequality and provides pension parity for Chicago Public Schools.

“Today I voted with my colleagues in the Senate to override the governor’s veto and bring Illinois students—both in Chicago and throughout the state—one step closer to a fair school funding formula for the first time in decades. It is time for all Illinois students to have access to a quality education, regardless of where they live.”

SSenator Steans hears testimony in committeePRINGFIELD – Students will be shortchanged of educational resources and opportunities beyond the classroom under Gov. Bruce Rauner’s rewrite of a landmark school funding reform measure which forces tens of thousands of Chicago children to pay for a pension problem they did not create. Today, the governor issued an amendatory veto on Senate Bill 1 to remove equity for Chicago Public Schools.

“Illinois has treated CPS students unfairly for decades because lawmakers have been reluctant to change a flawed school funding formula that rewards affluent communities and punishes those with high concentration of poverty and lower property wealth,” Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) said.

“Gov. Rauner had the opportunity to correct this injustice and enact fair school funding that benefits all students in Illinois. I’m disappointed that today he instead chose to put politics and divisive rhetoric before the needs of Illinois school children.” 

Senate Bill 1, which passed in both houses of the Legislature on May 31, would enact an evidence-based school funding formula that prioritizes funding for school districts that are the least adequately funded. The model uses 27 evidence-based practices that are proven to enhance student achievement in the classroom.

Under Senate Bill 1, no school district would receive less funding than it did in Fiscal Year 2017. CPS would receive about $70 million to implement the evidence-based model.

Additionally, the state would cover normal pension costs for CPS as it does for every other school district in the state.

Though the governor claimed to agree with 90 percent of what’s in the legislation, he had vowed to issue an amendatory veto on Senate Bill 1 so that CPS would lose hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Students across Illinois should have access to a quality education, regardless of their ZIP code,” Steans said. “For too long, we’ve poured money into a broken system that has widened the achievement gap among students and perpetuated a system of winners and losers. It is shocking to me that a governor of Illinois would be willing to punish one group of students solely because he wants to score political points in another part of the state.”

CPS is the largest school district in Illinois and serves nearly 20 percent of all Illinois schoolchildren. More than 381,000 students attended CPS’ 652 schools last year. More than 80 percent of CPS students were considered economically disadvantaged, and more than 17 percent were English Language Learners.

The General Assembly now has the option of accepting or overriding the governor’s changes to Senate Bill 1.

 

Senator Steans

July 27, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Join my office this evening at 6 p.m. at the Gale Community Academy auditorium, 1631 W Jonquil Terrace, to watch a live stream of Senator Andy Manar’s school funding town hall. Senator Manar is the lead sponsor of Senate Bill 1, which replaces Illinois’ worst-in-the nation school funding formula with one that adequately and equitably funds schools for the first time in decades. This is an opportunity for you to get the facts directly from the source.

 

Under Senate Bill 1, no school district would receive less funding than it did in Fiscal Year 2017. Despite this, the governor is threatening to use his amendatory veto power to make CPS the only school district in the state to lose money in the new school funding formula. Find out tonight how you can help encourage him to support Illinois students and Senate Bill 1.

 

Speakers tonight will include Senator Manar, Rep. Christian Mitchell, three school superintendents from central Illinois and Teresa Ramos from Advance Illinois. They will provide an overview and update on Senate Bill 1.

 

What: Live stream of school funding town hall with Senator Manar

When: 6-7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 27

Where: Gale Community Academy auditorium, 1631 W Jonquil Terrace, 60626

 

For those of you who are unable to attend the watch party, tune in to Senator Manar’s Facebook page for a live broadcast of the event.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather A. Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

Upcoming events


Annual backpack drive

As we head into fall, please consider sponsoring a student in the district with school supplies. I am working in partnership with local elected officials and community organizations to provide a variety of supplies for elementary and high school students. We are looking for donors to sponsor a student or contribute individual supplies. Click here to review the supplies list and click here to sign up for the drive. The drive is now open and ends on August 11.

 

Annual backpack drive flyer

 

 

Rogers Park Community Pet Day

I hope you will join me on August 12 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Pottawattomie Park, 7340 N. Rogers, for the Rogers Park Community Pet Day. There will be free microchips for the first 100 pets and low-cost vaccines available. The City of Chicago will also have staff on hand to register dogs.

 

Rogers Park Community Pet Day flyer

 

 

District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

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www.SenatorSteans.com

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Contact Us

District Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Office: 773-769-1717
Fax: 773-769-6901

Springfield Office
623 Capitol Building
301 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62706
Office: 217-782-8492