The District 65 and 202 School Boards are poised to adopt a resolution opposing Senate Bill 16 at their joint Board meeting scheduled for Nov. 3. The Senate passed SB16 in late May, and it is currently pending in the House. If enacted into law, SB 16 will dramatically change the way in which the State allocates funding to school districts throughout the State.

SB16 does provide additional funding for education in the State, but divides up a relatively small amount of funding in a different way. The Illinois State Board of Education has calculated that under SB16, District 65 would lose 85% of its State funding, or $6.5 million per year. School District 202 would lose 81% of its funding, or $2.2 million per year.

On Oct. 9, the District 65/202 Board’s Joint Committee discussed a draft resolution opposing SB16 and decided to revise the draft in several respects. The revised draft was presented to the District 65 and 202 School Board’s at their respective meetings on Oct. 20 to provide all Board members a chance to comment on the draft before it was presented for adoption at the joint Board meeting scheduled for Nov. 3.

At the Oct. 20 District 65 School Board meeting, Board President Tracy Quattrocki summarized the provisions of the revised draft, including the impact SB16 would have on Districts 65 and 202 if it were enacted into law, five fundamental defects in SB16, the State’s failure to adequately fund education, and the statement opposing SB16.

District 65 Board members all supported adopting a resolution opposing SB16. The only comments related to how to make it stronger. Claudia Garrison suggested stating that the Districts opposed SB16 at the start of the resolution. Candance Chow suggested adding that District 65 now serves 481 homeless students. Richard Rykhus suggested they “beef up” the section describing the impact it will have on the Districts. He also asked what else the Districts could do – in addition to adopting the resolution – to have the desired impact.

At the Oct. 20 District 202 School Board meeting, Board President Gretchen Livingston asked Board members if they had any comments regarding the revised draft resolution. Hearing none, she said the Boards were poised to adopt the resolution at their joint meeting on Nov. 3.

Larry Gavin

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...