Bev Johns’ legislative update: no budget, no change to funding formula, no elimination of direct and dedicated special ed payments.

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-Bev Johns

Thank you for all your actions on Senate Bill 231 and on House Bill 3190, both of which would have eliminated the direct and dedicated State payment of $9,000 for each special education teacher, each school psychologist, each school nurse, each school social worker, etc. who work full time with students with IEPs.

On May 31 neither bill was heard by the House Executive Committee, although both were to be considered at its 8:30 AM meeting, and then at its 4 PM meeting. The bills are not dead, but it would now take a 3/5 vote to pass them.

No budget passed both the Illinois House and Illinois Senate.

Senate Bill 2048 (the entire budget) was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 17 yes, 31 no.

House Bill 2990 (budget just for PK-12 education) passed the Senate by a vote of 37 yes, 19 no, 2 present, but was defeated in the House by a vote of 24 yes, 92 no.

The Good News is that both SB 2048 and HB 2990 had money to fund the $9,000 for each special ed teacher; Disabled Student Personnel Reimbursement – $442,400,000; AND had over $303 Million for another special education line item that ISBE wanted to transfer to General State Aid, so both the House and Senate rejected that recommendation of the Illinois State Board of Education.

Both budget bills had $700 Million in new money for a new Equity Grant (money to poorer schools), money for Chicago pensions, and a hold harmless so no school district would receive less money next school year than it received this school year.

Now the leaders in Springfield have agreed to work on a short-term budget which will not be ready for a vote for at least a week or two.

Reform of the School Funding Formulas will continue to be on the agenda of the Illinois House and the Illinois Senate.

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