Published in The Wheaton Leader, October 8, 2014
Senate Bill 16, which has passed in the Illinois Senate and is awaiting debate in the House, will make sweeping changes in how the state funds education. In most suburban school districts, the bill will have a severe, negative impact. State education is currently funded by several sources – federal, state and local. SB 16 consolidates 83 percent of Illinois’ education resources and redistributes according to a formula devised by Senate Democrats and Democrat House leaders.
As an example of how SB 16 could impact us locally, this bill will take $9.8 million away from Community Unit School District 200, an 82-percent drop in state funding, or the equivalent of funding for 132 teachers. The result will potentially be teacher layoffs and/or property tax hikes through a referendum.
Most importantly, SB 16 is a money grab designed to prevent Chicago’s severely underfunded teacher pension system from collapsing under its own weight at the expense of suburban schools. The legislation has a provision allowing any local resources used by a board of education for payments into a public school teachers pension fund (for normal costs) to be deducted from their local resources available when calculating their available local resources for formula purposes. This provision will have the effect of increasing their Per Pupil Aid Grant by an amount equal to that pension payment. No other district gets this type of relief.
Additionally, suburban members of the House Elementary and Secondary Appropriations Committee, both Republican and Democrat, were not invited to recent meetings about SB 16, even though taxpayer-funded staff from the Illinois State Board of Education were involved in the discussions.
Finally, and perhaps most discouragingly, the Senate sponsor of the bill admitted through testimony that he never looked at how the underlying factors that feed the formula are determined, such as equalized assessed value and poverty count. This is unacceptable.
I do not disagree that the school funding formula needs adjustment. In fact, I have advocated for a change in the funding formula that would promote equity, efficiency and excellence.
Sen. Michael Connelly and I invite you to join us on Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Wheaton Warrenville South Auditorium for a forum on SB16 and the future of education in Illinois. We will be joined by ISBE Superintendent Chris Koch, ISBE CFO Robert Wolfe and other area legislators and superintendents. Please let these state officials know how you feel.
Jeanne Ives is the Illinois state representative for District 42.
September 5, 2014
(AP) – A number of top Democratic House lawmakers have been quietly meeting to discuss a proposed overhaul of Illinois’ dated school funding formula, which, if approved, would direct more state money to poorer rural districts at the expense of wealthier suburban districts.
Members of the group told The Associated Press the meetings came at the behest of House Speaker Michael Madigan, whose chamber declined to take up the issue last spring despite its passage by the Senate and widespread calls for the first revamp of the formula in nearly two decades.
Read the entire article here.
As we head into our campaign’s “eleventh-hour,” I want to take a moment to say ‘Thank-You’ for your support. Thank you for the work that you did – going across neighborhoods to knock on doors and put up yard signs. Thanks for making phone calls, sharing emails, donating funds, and convincing friends and family to join our team. Most of all, thank you for believing in me.
As you cast your ballot tomorrow, please know that to me this is more than just a campaign – this is a movement. I have worked hard and will continue to work to bring your voice to Springfield and to advocate for the tax-payer at every decision-point – whether special interests like it or not.
We are united in our mission to hold Illinois to a higher standard. I believe that better days are ahead. Together, we will work to renew Illinois’ promise and restore Illinois greatness.
Thank you for your vote and for joining me in holding Illinois to a higher standard. The Movement Continues.
I am pleased to inform you on behalf of the Illinois Citizens for Ethics Political Action Committee that we once again officially endorse you for your Republican primary campaign for state representative in the 42nd district.
We continue to be impressed by both your background and your commitment to the mainstream values important for life and family that ICE-PAC promotes. You have served your district with great distinction in your first term, speaking truth to power and working hard to bring transparency, fiscal responsibility and a legitimate moral compass to our state’s public policy.
With your experiences at West Point, in your military service, as a mother, and as a member of the Wheaton City Council, you are well-equipped to continue being a visible advocate for policies that promote the family…”
“Ives minces no words about how Johnson came to challenge her: public sector unions. ‘They found someone, and it happened to be him,’ she said…”
Read the entire article here: http://napervillesun.suntimes.com/news/government/42update-NAP-03142014:article
Dear Neighbors and Friends,
We have run a positive campaign on the issues that affect all residents. I continue to shape policies in Springfield that will turn this state around and am making headway in a super-charged political environment and against all odds. Here are two links that speak to my perseverance.
Chicago Tribune – She champions taxpayers… Ives is endorsed.”
RedState – Illinois Republicans Need More (Like) Jeanne Ives
Unfortunately my opponent is desperate to discredit me since he has no practical background for the position he seeks.
Voters should know the truth about Johnson.
He told others, “he was offered a lot of money to run against me” – by the public sector unions.
Here are his recorded union donations this year from the State Board of Elections:
3/4 Associated Firefighters $2,500
3/3 IPACE (teachers union) $20,000
2/26 IL federation of teachers $5,000
2/24 West Suburban Teachers Local $1,000
2/26 University Professionals of IL $1,500
2/3 Associated Firefighters Pac $2,500
1/29 IPACE $10,000
1/15 IPACE $ 5,000
As someone deeply indebted to the public unions, he would vote for their agenda and
The Unions Want:
- Progressive Tax Hikes on Your Income
- Taxes on Financial Transactions
- Taxes on Retirement Income
- Spending Increases
- AND No Transparency
Taxpayers should also know he asked for and was granted a 2-month leave of absence from his government job to campaign. If he knocks at your door in the middle of the day, it is because he is not working for the taxpayers which he was hired to do.
Mr. Johnson wants you to believe he cares about state fiscal policies, but he has only contacted me once as a legislator, when I received postcards from both him and his wife advocating for gay marriage.
In keeping with his campaign’s dependence on the misrepresentation of facts, Mr. Johnson claims that I voted against a bill that would have protected taxpayers by implementing a property tax freeze. On this point, he simply doesn’t understand the issue. Local boards should be held to account for their spending by local taxpayers - and your local boards can freeze, or lower, property taxes any year they want to. As we know, government is most effective on the local level. Over the decades the unions have made demands at the state level that increase costs at the local level. A better way to control property taxes is to freeze and eliminate certain state mandates and return control to the local elected boards who were elected by their local constituents. I recognize there is a balance to be struck between protecting taxpayers by limiting powers of locals, which we do with PTELL and through other regulation, and allowing full control. I weigh that protection and control with every vote I take. Furthermore, I take the tax-payer into consideration at each decision-point, and read past talking points to assure that I have voted responsibly. Let’s be clear, at this point in our state’s history with the overreach of state mandates, this decision needs to remain at the local level. That being said, I do not believe property taxes should be increased with falling EAV’s.
On your behalf I have filed bills that will control spending, provide local control, reform taxes and regulation, and provide more transparency.
Feel free to share this page with others. I ask for your vote on March 18th in the Republican primary. Send a message to the Public Sector Unions that they will not be your voice in Springfield. For more information, my website is http://www.ives42.com/.
The Movement Continues – Hold Illinois to a Higher Standard
Ives’ bill would require all newly negotiated contracts between unions and public-sector employers (school districts, cities, counties, the state, etc.) to be posted on the public body’s website for at least 14 days before any action is taken.
“Contract provisions aren’t just about pay, they’re also about work structure and time off and sick day accumulation, everything that adds to the cost of the contract, so we need to know whether or not we can afford it,” Ives said in an interview. Currently, units of government believe they are not required to release such contracts until after they have been approved.
After a tentative agreement is reached, negotiators for both sides usually take the stance that it’s none of the public’s business what the contract contains. The taxpayers who foot the bill traditionally aren’t allowed to see it until the union members ratify it and the board or council casts its vote in the affirmative.
As Sauk Valley News stated, “… The need for secrecy – if one even recognizes that need – no longer exists after a tentative contract is reached. The negotiating has ended, and neither side can gain an advantage from disclosure.
And certainly, after the public employees vote to ratify, the school district gains no advantage by keeping the details under wraps.”
“This is not something that just I’m calling for,” Ives said. “It’s something that the media – and certainly taxpayers – have been demanding.”