The impact of Senate Bill 1, the School Funding Reform Act, on Naperville Community Unit School District 203 would be significant in our classrooms, eliminating most of the limited state dollars available to support the students of our district. In the financial models provided by the Illinois State Board of Education, annual revenue provided to District 203 by the state would be reduced by about $9.6 million, which is a 78 percent loss of state revenue. In each model, Naperville 203 would experience the second- or third-largest reductions in state funding in Illinois.
While SB1 does attempt to redistribute the state’s resources, it does not address the real issue: adequacy of funding to school districts. If education is truly a priority in Illinois, like it is in our community, legislative leaders must address the inadequate financial commitment our state government makes in supporting the school children throughout Illinois.
All children in Illinois deserve a quality education. An adequate, simple, transparent, equitable, and outcomes-focused funding formula should be developed. SB1 in its current form falls short.
Dan Bridges, Superintendent
Naperville Community Unit School Dist. 203
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Cuts for senior care today; costly consequences tomorrow
AgeOptions is an agency for older adults in suburban Cook County and a long-standing advocate for them and persons with disabilities. Our Illinois General Assembly is working to establish a budget that will serve our state into the coming year, but clearly Illinois does not have the revenues required to meet this goal. The impact of such a situation hurts older and disabled persons as well as all of our state’s communities and citizens.
AgeOptions asks that the proposed reductions be reconsidered for home-care programs. The proposed cuts in care and increased impairment requirements for homebound elders and disabled persons are designed to save a penny today and cost dollars in acute care tomorrow. This will be seen through increased emergency-room visits, unnecessary hospitalizations and institutional costs (e.g. nursing home stays, which similarly are facing considerable reductions in daily reimbursements). In addition, we ask that Medicaid services, energy assistance (LIHEAP) and senior transportation subsidies be sustained as part of the total state effort to assure that those of limited means who are able to live independently in their own homes and communities have the basic support they need to continue to do so.
We ask that Illinois residents rally around our state by supporting and encouraging the governor and the General Assembly to generate investment and fairly conceived revenue-generating solutions.
Jonathan Lavin, President
Added benefit for military members, veterans
I would like to make known a new discount program being offered by Karen Yarbrough, our Cook County Recorder of Deeds. Her office is honoring all who served our great country and those still on active duty by issuing a military and veterans’ discount card. With this card, you can obtain special discounts at theaters, restaurants and various businesses throughout Cook County. So far more than 150 businesses have signed up. I checked out their website (www.cookrecorder.com) and noticed I can even get in free at Brookfield Zoo or the Chicago Children’s Museum. Now I can take my grandkids there.
Raymond P. Toczek, service officer
American Legion 1st Division
Protect the parks
Of what value is a public trust doctrine? We park preservationists have long believed that the public park system belongs to all of us. No one has the right to parcel out pieces of open parkland. You would think the president would set a good example: Join stewards of open parks and take responsibility for safe-guarding open parkland instead of taking advantage of privilege.
Kathie Newhouse, Hyde Park