Sam McCann held a round-table discussion with school administrators from the 50th senate district regarding Senate Bill 16, the Education Funding Reform bill, on Monday at MacMurray College. Speaking after the discussions, Senator McCann says that education reform is a conversation that we need to be having in Illinois.
“The education funding reform bill that passed the senate, I think it was a day or two before we adjourned. That was a bill that changes the formula for how schools are funded as far as general state aid goes,” he says.
“And that was a bill that I voted yes on. It was a tough vote because I had school districts within the senate district who lost and school districts within the senate district who won, as far as getting more money. Ultimately I voted for it, the number one reason that I voted for it, was to provoke the conversation.”
Senator McCann says that the majority of administrators that he talked to were in support of the bill, which aims to change the formula used to determine how much funding a school receives from the state. McCann says that the passage of the bill would result in an additional $10-million in funding for the 50th Senate district.
McCann says the main concern voiced to him by the administrators is the continued issue of proration.
“I believe since 2011 the state of Illinois has prorated the funds that they send to the school districts. This year they will get 89% of that foundation formula. And so the schools, really, are saying, ‘if we could just get 100%, if we could get the money that we’re actually owed and get it on time, we could run our school,” says McCann.
“Proration, in other words sending us 89% of our money on an annual basis, is not good enough regardless of what formula you actually use.”