CHICAGO – To provide students with access to trauma and special education services, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, is sponsoring legislation that would take any surplus revenue from Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts and fund these vital programs at Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

“Children throughout Chicago experience trauma on a daily basis due to the high crime rates of the city, but they do not have resources at school to manage the life and death circumstances that they face on a daily basis,” said Harper. “Across the country, when traumatic incidents happen, counselors are made available to students, but children in Chicago get nothing. CPS must be equipped to handle the psychological and emotional challenges students face.”

Harper is the chief House sponsor of House Bill 3720, which would allow any surplus TIF revenues to be used for special education, social services and additional services for CPS students. Right now in Chicago there is an estimated $170 million dollars sitting in TIF surplus funds. Harper’s initiative would provide schools with the ability to increase staffing, and ultimately provide counseling to students who are coping with emotional trauma.

“In the last year, we have had $85 million cut from our special education programs and another $70 million cut from our schools; this legislation would provide schools with funding to off-set those cuts,” Harper said. “We have a responsibility to the children of Chicago, especially those who live in high-crime areas, to ensure that when they see or experience violence they have resources available to them to cope with the challenges it may bring to their lives.”

The bill is currently on 2nd reading in the House, and is expected to be called for a vote later this month.

Rep Sonya HarperRep Sonya Harper

6th District

Visit Rep Harper’s website

Springfield Office:
276-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-5971
(217) 558-6370 FAX

District Office:
4926 South Ashland
Chicago, IL  60609
(773) 925-6580
(773) 925-6584 FAX