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Great Day for Illinois Kids - Governor Signs Landmark School Funding Reform Bill

By Manny Gonzales

It was a great day for Illinois. School children, parents, educators and lawmakers cheered as Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a landmark school funding reform bill yesterday that will benefit all students equitably across the state. 

The Forum’s Executive Director Sylvia Puente and Manager of Education Policy and Research Karen Garibay-Mulattieri were also on hand to applaud SB 1947, which has specific benefits for one of the fastest growing segments of the student population: English Learners. The Forum’s efforts promoted an increase to funding for English Learners that will result in a total of $38 million in new revenue, bringing the state funding to $102 million for bilingual education. Programs, such as dual language, have proven to be of benefit to both English Learners and their general education peers.

The new evidence-based model addresses the population proactively by ensuring that they are weighted in the base funding formula and guarantees that the funding follows the student, $10 million dollars is the projected increase in this category. The formula also includes an additional $28 million for school districts with high percentages of low income students and English learners to implement best practice.

Illinois goes from being one of the worst states for school funding to potentially leading the nation with research-driven policy, long term accountability, and funding to promote high quality educational opportunities.

The Forum spearheaded advocacy for English Learners, who are present in more than half of Illinois schools, and sees a new horizon full of hope that will build on the linguistic and cultural assets these students bring to our schools, communities, and state. 

Forum Executive Director Sylvia Puente and Karen Garibay-Mulattieri with Illinois Education Secretary Beth Purvis, and Beth Swanson, VP of Strategy and Programs at the Joyce Foundation


Puente and Mulattieri with Illinois State Senator Andy Manar

Mulattieri and Puente with Illinois State Representative Will Davis

Posted In: Education