Syverson Calls for School Funding Reform Before Passing New State Budget

SPRINGFIELD– State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) says all downstate legislators, regardless of party affiliation, should reject a budget crafted by House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton until the states school funding formulas provide proportionate funding for students across the state.

Democrat leaders unveiled a new state budget in the House Tuesday. Syverson says the proposed budget has a number of problems, but the most glaring is the continued pattern of disproportionately shifting dollars to Chicago schools at the expense of downstate schools. He also says the proposed budget cuts transportation funding for schools which will hurt our local schools.  

Syverson said a report this spring outlined the dramatic difference in funding received by Chicago Public Schools and schools in downstate Illinois.

“If downstate legislators all stick together in opposing any budget that does not address, or at least begin to address the school funding inequity in Illinois, we can restore cuts that have been made locally to our school districts,” said Syverson.

Syverson says downstate schools have faced far too many cuts in recent budget years, and that lawmakers who represent downstate and rural school districts must stand up for equitable funding.

The deadline for passage of the budget is Friday night, and Syverson says the window to do the right thing for school funding is closing quickly. 

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