State Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) is a chief co-sponsor of legislation that would fully fund K-12 education, while also ensuring no school district loses money through an associated “hold harmless” provision.
“Students and schools across the state deserve certainty that a K-12 education budget will be passed immediately,” Weaver said. “We need schools to open on time, every student to remain a priority, and schools must be able to plan for the future. We also need to make sure that no schools lose money next year. Everyone can agree that educating our children must be a top priority – this bill meets all of these expectations.”
For the past seven years, the Democrat legislature has put into law budgets that severely underfunded schools. For several years, schools received as low as 87% of what they should be receiving.
This legislation stops the deliberate underfunding, or “proration,” that has been implemented by Illinois Democrats in recent budgets.
“Proration is placing tremendous strain on school districts all over the state, teachers and staff, and students,” Weaver said. “It’s a key issue I hear from top educators in my district. Students deserve for their representatives to keep the promises that are made to them. These are all promises that directly affect their future. We now have legislation that keeps these promises.”
Weaver’s legislation also ensures no school district will lose money next school year, compared to what they received during their 2015-2016 school year. This hold harmless provision helps school districts that will see a drop in enrollment by keeping their funding level.
“Here we have a solution that helps every school and every student. This bill allows our schools to budget right now for the coming year without having to worry about making major cuts to programs,” said Senator Weaver. “There’s no excuse to not move forward on fully funding our schools now. Our children should be a priority.”
Weaver’s legislation increases state funding for K-12 education by $227 million and includes $1.8 million for agriculture education. Weaver is advising this measure pass before the new fiscal year begins July 1.