Letter from Dr. Wade: Why SB1 Is the Better Funding Option for District 401

Letter from Dr. Wade: Why SB1 Is the Better Funding Option for District 401

NOTE: District 401 Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicolas Wade sent the following letter to the D401 community on Tuesday, Aug. 15. To download a PDF copy of Dr. Wade's letter, click here. To see the recent WGN News broadcast story on school funding in which Dr. Wade was interviewed, click here.

Dear Students, Parents and Guardians, Community Members and District Employees,

With concerns over school funding happening throughout the state, estimates on the total funds Elmwood Park CUSD 401 would receive from the state between Senate Bill 1 (SB1), an evidence-based funding formula that takes into account 27 evolving variables, and Gov. Bruce Rauner's amendatory veto, which has rewritten SB1 to bear a resemblance to past practices of funding inequity and remove Chicago Public Schools from eligibility, have been released.

Districts throughout the state received the estimates from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) where data points, supplied from the Governor's Office, from Fiscal Year 16 and Fiscal Year 17 were interchangeably used. This means the data used does not take into account evolving variables, and the reason for certain data points being used over others has not been fully realized or explained by ISBE or the Governor's Office.

The estimates also take into consideration possible wealth that could be taxed by a school district, regardless of tax caps, TIFs or other restrictions established by municipalities, counties, and/or the state. In short, the calculation for eligible funds received under the amendatory veto are based on how much a district could tax the community and businesses, even if the district is legally unable to do so.

This has led to an estimate from ISBE and the Governor's Office that Elmwood Park CUSD 401 would lose $157,020 if changes under the Governor's amendatory veto took effect. That same estimate believes if SB1 were passed as is, the District would receive $228,359. That is a $385,379 difference between the two options before State policymakers, and the loss under the parameters of the amendatory veto would be compounded in the following years.

According to the estimate of the amendatory veto taking effect, the only other district in Illinois to receive less money than Elmwood Park CUSD 401 is Chicago Public Schools.

It is my hope the Governor's amendatory veto be overridden by the State legislature, or a compromise be reached between lawmakers and the Governor that realizes the worth of the evidence-based funding formula found in SB1. As lawmakers are deciding how best to vote and/or negotiate, it is recommended to contact your local legislators and state leaders about how their upcoming decision can impact Elmwood Park CUSD 401. (See contact information below.)


Dr. Nicolas D. Wade, Superintendent

Contact Information for Local Legislators & State Leaders

Elmwood Park's State Senator

► Senator Don Harmon (D), 39th District, President Pro Tempore

Springfield Office:
Senator 39th District
329B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-8176
District Office:
6941-B W. North Avenue
Oak Park, IL  60302
(708) 848-2002
(708) 848-2022 FAX

Elmwood Park's State Representative

► Representative Camille Lilly (D), 78th District 

Springfield Office:
270-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-6400
(217) 558-1054 FAX

District Office:
6937 W. North Ave.
Oak Park, IL  60302
(708) 613-5939

Email: staterepcamilleylilly@gmail.com

President of the Illinois Senate

► Senator John J. Cullerton (D), 6th District

Springfield Office:
Senator 6th District
327 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-2728
(217) 782-3242 FAX

District Office:
1726 W. Belmont
Chicago, IL  60657
(773) 883-0770
(773) 880-9083 FAX

Majority Leader of the Illinois Senate

► Senator James F. Clayborne, Jr. (D), 57th District

Springfield Office:
Senator 57th District
329A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-5399

District Office:
Kenneth Hall Regional Office Building
10 Collinsville Avenue, Suite 201A
East St. Louis, IL  62201
(618) 875-1212
(618) 274-3010 FAX

Republican Leader of the Illinois Senate

► Senator William E. Brady (R), 44th District

Springfield Office:
Senator 44th District
103B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-6216

District Office:
2203 Eastland Drive
Suite 3
Bloomington, IL  61704
(309) 664-4440
(309) 664-8544 FAX

Speaker of the Illinois House

► Representative Michael J. Madigan (D), 22nd District

Springfield Office:
300 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-5350
(217) 524-1794 FAX

District Office:
6500 South Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL  60629
(773) 581-8000
(773) 581-9414 FAX

Majority Leader of the Illinois House

► Representative Barbara Flynn Currie (D), 25th District

Springfield Office:
300 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-8121
(217) 524-1794 FAX

District Office:
1303 E. 53rd Street
Chicago, IL  60615
(773) 667-0550
(773) 667-3010 FAX

Republican Leader of the House

► Representative Jim Durkin (R), 82nd District

Springfield Office:
316 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-0494
(217) 782-7012 FAX

District Office:
16W281 83rd St.
Suite C
Burr Ridge, IL  60527
(630) 325-2028
(630) 325-2291 FAX

Email: Durkin@ILHouseGOP.org

Governor of the State of Illinois

► Governor Bruce Rauner (R)

Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-0244

Office of the Governor
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-814-2121

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