SPRINGFIELD, IL…State Representative CD Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) released the following statement following Monday night’s House passage of SB 1947, an education funding bill that locks in a State bailout of Chicago’s mismanaged teachers’ pension fund.
“I want to ensure that schools are funded both now and in the future. Unfortunately, we have watched schools take a back-bench to entitlements and unfunded new promises, with prorations that artificially decreased funding for downstate schools for years.
At the end of the day, the money still isn’t there to pay for this legislation. The State of Illinois has $14.5 billion in unpaid bills piling up in Springfield. We cannot continue to run government on IOU’s and unpaid bills that forces the next generation of legislators and taxpayers to figure out how to pay for it. That is precisely what got Illinois into the mess that we are in today.
With this bill, Illinois taxpayers are being asked to bail out the Chicago Public Schools. The State is taking on Chicago’s teachers’ pensions for $221 million along with taking responsibility for Chicago’s irresponsible decision to skip 10 years-worth of pension payments, which will take $40 million per year out of classrooms. Then they still get the Chicago block grant of $250 million per year locked into their guaranteed State funding.
With property values in Chicago under-assessed and Chicago property taxes artificially low, I think that it’s time for them to take some responsibility for funding schools the way every other community in the State of Illinois has done. I have no belief that Chicago will ever take responsibility for their actions as long as Illinois taxpayers are forced to bail them out.
There’s only so much money to go around and, with this bill, Chicago gets way more than they deserve and more than the State has to give, while our schools are left with crumbs.”