The lie told to Representative Laura Fine.

-By Bev Johns

In a hearing in the Illinois House of Representatives on May 10, supporters of House Bill 2808 were asked by State Representative Laura Fine how the bill would affect the $9,000 in State funds now received by school districts to pay part of the salary of each special education teacher.

Mike Jacoby, Executive Director of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials, replied that under House Bill 2808 school districts would be “receiving 100% of that resource.”

hqdefaultHe failed to say that the bill would ELIMINATE the $9,000 for each special education teacher, and allow local schools to spend that money on anything they call special education.

Jacoby also stated that it is the Individualized Education Program (the IEP), NOT funding that is important.

“The IEP determines spending…the IEP drives services…the IEP is required regardless of what funding comes to the district.” (If only special education were that simple.)

It is hard to believe that Jacoby knows so little about what is actually happening in too many school districts in Illinois.

Funding is not only important: Funding is critical (as Jacoby argues about all the rest of school funding).

Where parents know the Federal special education law and regulations, the Illinois law and regulations, AND have the resources to enforce (1) getting a good IEP for their child, and (2) making certain that IEP is implemented; then YES the IEP is most important.

But for all other parents, and for special education teachers it is critical to have direct and dedicated funding (Special Education Personnel Reimbursement) of $9,000 per year for each special education teacher.

Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 2808 would ELIMINATE Special Education Personnel Reimbursement, eliminate direct and dedicated funding for the one school person most important to the education of a child with disabilities: the specially trained special education teacher.

7 Replies to “The lie told to Representative Laura Fine.”

  1. Call your State Representative and State Senator to oppose Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 2808 as now written.

    SB 1: Sen. Andy Manar 217-782-0228
    Sen. Jason Barickman 217-782-6597
    Sen. Kimberly Lightford 217-782-8505

    HB 2808: Rep. Will Davis 217-782-8197
    Rep. Bob Pritchard 217-782-0425

  2. Fred, It sounds like the change is for charters and private schools who have no intention of providing special education services or having special education students. They can still get the money by saying the money is going to special education in a different and innovative way such as computer programs and computers. No teachers, but equipment and profits. > ELIMINATE the $9,000 for each special education teacher, and allow local schools to spend that money on anything they call special education. >

    Any Illinois school could do this including charter schools and other forms of privatized education like online schools could designate the $9000 as special education then pocket the money. Pat Herrmann

    Sent from my iPad


    1. ABSOLUTELY, Pat. Unfortunately, I don’t think most of the legislators are thinking of the Robin Hood plan that way. Yes, indeed, any more money changed over to those poorer school districts are most certainly intended to…create more charter schools!! These bills–in other forms–have been pushed, relentlessly, for at least the past 3 years. I strongly advise people to go to Illinois Sunshine & look at the donations to the legislators from IL Stand for Children–a pro-charter school organization. Connect the dots, people , then call YOUR Reps & Senators & report this info & tell them you don’t want your taxpayer dollars going to charters.
      Also, make sure to look up the hearings schedule for Tuesday, May 16th (& Monday, 5/15, as well–although I don’t think they’re in session then, but let’s not take any chances). Google Illinois General Assembly, & you can easily click on to see the House & the Senate schedules for the day, week & month.
      Then, when the bills are being hear, go to the site to fill out a Witness Slip for each–sign yourself in as an OPPONENT. (I’ll comment later with the link to Witness Slips, unless someone reads this first & can provide it.)

  3. Oh, & I must say, about 18 years ago there was a proposal to change the school funding formula &, yes, I did vote yes on it then–charter schools–& Citizens United– were not an issue then. (Although ALEC* had already been doing it’s dirty work for 25 years prior to that.)

    *American Legislative Exchange Council–if you don’t know what it is, you’d better find out!!

  4. Last one! Here is the link to file Witness Slips:
    If, for some reason, this doesn’t work, Google it on
    Word is, they may be back in session on Monday; they were going to have a session today, but it was cancelled.
    & while you’re at it, sign a slip as a PROPONENT of Automatic Voter Registration Bill (sorry, don’t have the #/branch in front of me–it’s something like 1443),

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