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The other side of the school funding bill: State Rep Reick explains his “yes” vote

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MCHENRY – There's another side to the school funding controversy, State Rep. Steve Reick (R-McHenry) pointed out to Illinois Review soon after State Rep. Jeanne Ives' (R-Wheaton) criticisms were posted Friday morning. 

Reick supported the school funding bill in this week's vote, albeit while "holding his nose," he says. 

"While the bill still contains many of the things which I found objectionable in SB 1, [SB 1947] provides for things which would never have been enacted if we hadn’t forced the Democrats to the table," Reick writes on his website explanation.

Among those things he saw as positives, Reick liked:

  • The normal pension costs for the Chicago Public Schools was taken out of the education bill and put into the Pension Code, where it belongs;
  • The bill takes $50 million of newly appropriated money and provides property tax relief to districts in low-EAV/high levy districts. It’s the first step to what I hope will be a movement to cap property taxes statewide;
  • It provides mandate relief for school districts for P.E., driver’s education and gives a streamlined process by which school districts can seek relief from other unfunded mandates;
  • It authorizes the City of Chicago to raise its property tax levy to pay for teacher pensions. Given that the city is responsible for that train wreck, it’s only fair that they be made to fix it;
  • It creates a commission to examine our system of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) which will hopefully lead to a way for schools to share in the increased property wealth that comes from economic development;
  • The bill provides for a tax credit program whereby up to $100 million can be donated to provide scholarships to low-income children to go to private and parochial schools. People who donate can receive a credit equal to 75% of their donation off their state income taxes. I’m not crazy about this. Though I fully favor school choice, it should come from money appropriated by the General Assembly. There are better ways to provide parents with the means to send their kids to the schools of their choice, not by blowing a $75 million hole in the budget.

More on the school funding bill on Reick's website HERE.

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1 COMMENT

  1. So, the RINO is not happy about the last point, which is the only point that conservatives (and PARENTS) can be happy about. Weird!! He’s worried about blowing holes in budgets, except blowing this hole in the budget. What a RINO!!