Durkin files bill to take K-12 schools out of budget crossfire

Plan honors Governor’s commitment to increase education funding, open schools on-time

Springfield, IL… Acting to ensure that Illinois public schools open on-time this fall, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) has filed legislation to fully fund K-12 education in Illinois for FY2017. With the regular session of the Illinois General Assembly scheduled to adjourn May 31, Durkin filed House Bill 6583 as an alternative to keep schools open in the event a comprehensive budget is not approved by Tuesday’s midnight deadline.

“The Governor has made his commitment to strengthening our investment in K-12 education very clear, as well as the need to take students and teachers out of the political crossfire in Springfield by ensuring that public schools open on time this fall. House Republicans stand ready to help the Governor make that commitment a reality,” Leader Durkin said. “I call on House Democrats to join us in this commitment. We cannot play politics with our kids’ education.”

Specifically, House Bill 6583 adds $105 million to ensure no school district loses funding in FY 17. It also increases general state aid to K-12 schools and early childhood education with an additional investment of $1.8 million for agricultural education and other priorities that arose during the working group discussions.

Last year, the General Assembly approved a stand-alone funding bill for K-12 education which Governor Rauner signed into law, ensuring that Illinois public schools operated without interruption for the 2015-16 school year despite the ongoing state budget impasse. Leader Durkin’s legislation would ensure that same commitment is made for the 2016-17 school year.