The Illinois General Assembly approved a landmark education funding bill (SB 1947), which helps better fund low income school districts throughout Illinois. In addition, the state has actually funded the new formula created by that bill for the last 2 years.

The legislation is far from perfect, but it does represent a significant step in the right direction. The new law also allows for donors to get a tax credit for donating to scholarship granting organizations to help pay private school tuition for low income students currently attending failing schools.

It is time we did something to incentivize donors to make it possible for low income families to enjoy the same kind of opportunities that more wealthy families enjoy. Private schools are something that are out of reach for many families. I am pleased we are finally doing something to help them.

In addition, the measure does give residents the opportunity to lower their property taxes through referendum, which is a win for taxpayers.

The education funding bill is not a perfect solution, but it is a compromise that we can build upon moving forward. Education is something we all value and we all want our schools to succeed. Improvements are not going to happen overnight. It is a process, and Senate Bill 1947 is a step forward in that process.  Because education is one of the top 3 issues for District 37 voters I will be keeping a close eye on further changes to State education policy stemming from this new funding formula and I will make sure we keep our promise to fully fund this new formula.