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SB 1947 - Establishes School Funding Plan - Illinois Key Vote


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Title: Establishes School Funding Plan

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that amends the state's education funding plan and establishes appropriations for scholarships, tax credits, and teacher pensions, effective August 31, 2017.



  • Establishes an evidence-based model that sets a target funding level (adequacy target) based on a school district’s needs and calculates local capacity to fund schools based on the assessed value of property available to the school district for taxing, rather than setting the same funding level for every student (Sec. 940)

  • Establishes a 5-year pilot program offering income tax credits for individuals or businesses who donate to non-public school scholarships, specifying that the maximum of all tax credits is $75 million (Sec. 10).

  • Specifies that a taxpayer who makes contributions to an organization that grants non-public school scholarships is eligible for a credit equal to 75% of the total amount of contributions, not to exceed $1 million per taxpayer (Sec. 10).

  • Authorizes the Chicago Board of Education to increase its property tax levy for teacher pensions to a maximum rate of 0.567% (Sec. 965).

  • Authorizes a referendum to reduce the property tax levy by up to 10% in school districts that are funded at 110% of their adequacy target or more (Sec. 925).

  • Specifies that such referendum would only be allowed if 10% of registered voters sign a petition and if reducing the levy would not cause the district to fall below 110% of its adequacy target (Sec. 925).

  • Specifies that families must have a federal adjusted gross income less than 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) when initially applying for a non-public school scholarship and must be less than 400% of FPL subsequently (Sec. 5).

  • Specifies that non-public school scholarships will be prorated as follows (Sec. 40):

    • If income is below 185% of FPL, they receive 100% of scholarship amount;

    • If income is 185% to 250% of FPL, they receive 75% of scholarship amount; and

    • If income is over 250% of FPL, they receive 50% of scholarship amount.

  • Authorizes a school board to determine the frequency of physical education classes as long as it is a minimum of 3 days per 5-day week (Sec. 965).

  • Authorizes districts to contract with third party Driver’s Education vendors without requesting a waiver from the General Assembly (Sec. 965).