SB 231. An exchange with Will Guzzardi.

Will Guzzardi


I oppose any school funding plan that eliminates the $9,000 for each special education teacher which is vital to assuring that students with disabilities have the specially trained teachers they so need.

SB 231 would cut special ed funding by almost 1/3, and eliminate the $9,000 for each special ed teacher and other professionals.

Beginning in 2018, the 20/20 evidence-based plan would fund ONE (1) special education teacher for every 150 students (but only provide the funding if Illinois appropriates enough money in the future). 

It would NOT require that any special ed teacher actually be hired. 

– Fred Klonsky


Hi Fred,

Sorry I haven’t gotten around to writing a statement for you sooner. Between opt-out, my testing transparency bill, and the budget stuff, I had a full plate this week.

Anyway, re: SB231:

We absolutely need to rebuild the school funding formula. SB231 is a good step toward fixing a badly broken system. But it’s still got several unresolved problems, not least of which are the special education issues you describe. I’m glad the legislature is taking this problem seriously, and I remain hopeful that we can amend this in the House to resolve the special ed funding problems and pass a bill that supports CPS and brings equity to low-income districts around the state without hurting any of our most vulnerable students.

Feel free to post / share.


Thanks Will,

This bill should not have your vote if it includes the current special education funding component.

Perhaps as a short term measure, a change to the funding formula without significant increases in state education funding is the best that can be hoped for.  But equity without adequate funding is not real equity at all. Redividing the crumbs that the state now provides is not good enough. Special education students should not have to foot the bill.


3 Replies to “SB 231. An exchange with Will Guzzardi.”

  1. It used to be that Chicago received a federal stipend for special Ed paraprofessionals and also for special Ed students seen by them. Student reimbursement was through Medicaid. Has this funding been eliminated?

  2. As a parent of an Elmhurst district 205 IEP student, I highly oppose SB231. This will greatly impact my daughter and many other children’s therapies and services in the district and others greatly. We utilize teams of social workers, therapists and aides on a daily basis. We pay handsomely in our taxes to live in this town to send her to this school system.
    Why does my suburb have to pay for the decades of corruption and wrongful distribution of federal funding to CPS?
    Why does my child have to pay for the decades of finacial mismanagement of other cities and towns?
    Redistribution of funds does not fix an already broken system. Fix the system first!
    It is not the responsibility of the suburbs who invest in their school systems to take care of the systems that don’t.

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