COLLINSVILLE, Ill. – State Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, is opposing efforts by the governor to push the state’s pension bills onto local school districts, as outlined in his budget address last week.
“Governor Rauner’s plan simultaneously raises property taxes and takes funding away from our local schools,” said Stuart. “Last spring, over his veto, the General Assembly was able to enact historic K-12 education funding reform, which would put over $5 million additional dollars into local school districts right here in the 112th district. Now, he wants to strip that away by shifting the state’s pension obligations on to local school districts and taxpayers.”
A pension cost shift would require local school districts to pick up the cost of the state’s portion of teacher pension and healthcare payments. The governor’s proposal shifts 25 percent of the state’s obligations to school districts per year over four years, culminating in increased costs to suburban and downstate school districts of over $1 billion per year.
“By shifting the pension obligation to local school districts, Governor Rauner is forcing districts to take dollars out of classrooms and away from our students,” Stuart added. “On top of that, he is manipulating the formula that was created to fix Illinois’ inequitable school funding to take dollars away from our local classrooms and students who need them the most. Every child in Illinois deserves a high quality public education. I will continue to fight attempts to channel funding away from our schools in the Metro East.”