The Batavia School District stands to lose about $4 million in state funding, phased in over 4 years, if Senate Bill 16 (SB16) passes the IL House. SB16 would redistribute the state taxes that go toward education according to a new formula that heavily favors districts with more low income residents and Chicago schools (there’s a provision carved out specifically for them to factor in teacher pensions to their benefit). For Batavia, that would amount to a 79% cut in state funding, leaving the district with just $1.05 million from state sources, while increasing the district’s reliance on property taxes. The $4 million shortfall will have to be made up, with other districts in a similar situation talking of possible cuts to teachers and programs, and/or property tax hikes. This bill does not address unfunded mandates, leaving school districts holding the bag while taking away what little they had provided to begin with.
SB16 already passed the Senate and will likely be called for vote in the House in November, after the elections, in the lame duck session. Keep this in mind as you prepare to vote on the $15 million Batavia school district referendum that would have further negative impact on taxpayers if passed.