SB 231 would provide “substantial staff support” for at risk students attending District 117

By Ryne Turke on May 12, 2016 at 12:14pm

Jacksonville School District 117’s Superintendent is chiming in on the recent activity regarding Senate Bill 231.

The latest education funding proposal from Senator Andy Manar passed Tuesday on the third reading, 31-21.

Speaking with WLDS-WEAI News this morning, Superintendent Steve Ptacek was very pleased the bill passed through the Senate.

Ptacek feels the state has “faced a lack of equity in educational funding”, based on income of the population for each community.

“Senate Bill 231 is an attempt to adjust the state aid formula, after decades of analyzing its effectiveness, to make more equitable funding possible across the state. If we are going to have a state that treats students equally, it has to happen,” says Ptacek.

Ptacek says the notion that Senate Bill 231 is a Chicago Public Schools bailout couldn’t be farther from the truth.

“Nobody is talking about if this is a Beardstown, Pana, Litchfield, Centralia or Jacksonville bailout. The list goes on and on. The vast majority of school districts in this county and region are currently not adequately funded and definitely not funded in an equitable manor to a lot of districts in the Chicago suburbs. This is an equitable issue for funding for schools that have a substantial at risk population,” says Ptacek.

Under Senate Bill 231, District 117 could gain somewhere from $450,000 to $700,000. Ptacek says those funds would provide “substantial staff support” for at risk students.

Senator Sam McCann voted in favor of Senate Bill 231 on Tuesday. According to Ptacek, the 50th Senate District would gain six-million-dollars in general state aid if SB 231 passes.

The bill now moves to the Illinois House.