Push For School Funding Reform Continues

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— The Village Board has seven items on its agenda when it convenes tonight for a Rules Meeting at 8 p.m., but one resonates strongly with Park Forest residents: school funding reform. September marks the first month the new meeting schedule is implemented. Meetings now occur on the first, second, and fourth Mondays of each month. On the fourth Monday, the board will hold a Rules meeting followed by a Regular Meeting if necessary – and that will be the case tonight. Retired Park Forest Firefighter Dennis Kennedy is scheduled to be appointed to the Economic Development Advisory Group.

The agenda for the Rules Meeting follows:

  1. A Resolution Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of Diversity, Inc. an Reaffirming the Village of Park Forest’s Commitment to Racial, Ethnic, Cultural and Economic Diversity
  2. A Resolution Approving a PCS Site Agreement Between the Village of Park Forest and T-Mobile
  3. A Resolution Encouraging Illinois Legislators to Change the Method by Which Illinois Public Schools are Funded
  4. An Ordinance Amending Chapter 106 (Utilities) (Storm Sewers-Illicit Discharges and Connections)
  5. An Ordinance Authorizing the Execution of a Possession Agreement and Escrow Agreement for 3200 Lincoln Highway and Authorizing the Village Manager and Village Clerk to Execute any and all Documents Necessary to Effectuate the Purchase of the Property
  6. An Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. 1848 Adopting the Annual Budget for the Year Commencing July 2, 2006 and Ending June 30, 2007 and Ordinance No. 1865 Amending Said Budget
  7. Ambulance Purchase

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The proposed resolution on school funding reform, which references the 35 years plus this issue has been discussed, follows:

A RESOLUTION ENCOURAGING ILLINOIS LEGISLATORS TO CHANGE THE METHOD BY WHICH ILLINOIS PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE FUNDED

WHEREAS, Illinois’ current system of funding public schools primarily from the local property tax is antiquated and out of step with policies of other states of comparable size; and
WHEREAS, the current school funding system allows for a disproportionate level of funding statewide based on the property taxes generated by businesses and homeowners, respectively, across the state; and
WHEREAS, the low levels of commercial activity in some geographic regions result in a heavier burden on homeowner property taxes in those regions as a means of supporting public schools; and
WHEREAS, the current high level of property tax burden experienced by residents of some regions of the state extends far beyond the reasonable ability of many of those residents to pay; and
WHEREAS, for more than 35 years – beginning with a proposal put forth by former Lieutenant Governor and former U.S. Senator Paul Simon in 1972 – courageous political and community leaders have lobbied for a change in the way Illinois funds its public schools, so that the burden falls primarily on the state’s income tax rather than on the property tax; and
WHEREAS, the people of Illinois themselves, in an advisory referendum passed overwhelmingly in 1990, expressed their desire for a public policy change regarding school funding as indicated above; and
WHEREAS, numerous public policy advisory bodies likewise have overwhelmingly endorsed such a change in the methodology for funding Illinois’ public schools; and
WHEREAS, legislation has been before the Illinois General Assembly during recent sessions, and is likely to be before the Assembly in future session, that would change the method for funding Illinois schools by placing the burden primarily on the state income tax and thus providing for substantial property tax relief statewide.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Mayor and Board of Trustees of the Village of Park Forest, Cook and Will Counties, that all efforts will be put forth to encourage Illinois’ legislators to change the method by which Illinois’ public schools are funded; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED, that the Village of Park Forest will actively work to educate the public on the vital importance of making such a public policy change and lobby legislators to bring about a new system for funding public schools in the State of Illinois.

The board’s complete agenda may be viewed here.

Source: VOPF.com