State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) is promoting legislation that will result in increased and fair education funding for all. House Bill 4069, like Senate Bill 1, utilizes the evidence based funding formula that ensures all school districts will receive more money. However HB4069 does not disproportionately give an advantage to Chicago Public Schools.

You can see the difference between the two bills on schools in the 37th district below:

The Illinois House of Representatives recently held a Committee of the Whole to discuss a statewide property tax freeze. State Representative Margo McDermed spoke out on the floor in support. The three panels of witnesses brought in to discuss the proposal were largely opposed to the idea. She directed her comments to these opponents:


Shortly before the session adjourned, Rep. McDermed sat down with Comcast Newsmakers in the capitol to discuss the budget and getting things done:

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School funding reform is an issue important to all Illinois residents, whether you have children or not. The Illinois Constitution says that the state government must provide a majority of the funding for public schools. Instead the state only provides around 24%, with the rest coming from federal funds and property taxes. This dereliction of constitutional duty is a big reason why Illinois property taxes are so high.

Over a year ago, Governor Rauner commissioned a bipartisan group to study how we can fix Illinois’ broken school funding system. The conclusions of that group formed the basis for a number of bills filed in the House and Senate. Bipartisan negotiations occurred to rectify the bills. Unfortunately, by the time a bill got to the House floor for a vote it had been co-opted by Chicago legislators. 

SB 1 would send nearly 70 percent of the new K-12 funding in FY18 to CPS. The other 851 Illinois school districts would receive just 30 percent of the new funds, despite have 77 percent of total students. School funding reform cannot help a broken Chicago school system at the expense of the rest of the state. I could not and will not support last minute legislation that supports further inequity in the system.

This is yet another in a long line of promising solutions stalled or corrupted by political games.

Regardless of what happens with school funding reform, the state as a whole needs to put more money towards our schools. Even though more money has been directed towards K-12 and early education since Governor Rauner took office, this is not something we can reasonably accomplish while this budget impasse continues.

I will continue to work with my colleagues, but the games have to stop. Illinois can’t move forward without the participation of both sides of the aisle. We need to focus on bipartisan solutions, not 2018. Too much is at stake. 

Margo McDermed
State Representative, 37th District
The House has been in continuous session “until the call of the chair” (Speaker Madigan) since May 31st. The fiscal year ends on June 30th and yet no session has been called or planned yet for the month of June.

Senate Bill 1
              School funding reform is an issue that has been buzzing a lot around Springfield over the past few years. It is fully accepted by both parties that the current formula is broken and we need a change. Governor Rauner’s bipartisan commission to study the issue produced a blue print for a new evidence based funding model. The evidence-based funding model is significant to Illinois for many reasons, not the least of which is that it was specifically designed to drive much-needed funding to school districts that are the farthest away from adequacy.
               On the final day of the scheduled spring session, House Democrats co-opted and amended a new formula, Senate Bill 1, to provide Chicago Public Schools (CPS) with a bailout at the expense of the rest of the state’s public schools. SB 1 would cost approximately $700 million in new state dollars to implement in FY18. Not only is that amount unachievable given the fiscal crisis facing Illinois, but CPS would receive nearly $500 million or 70 percent of the new funding. The other 851 Illinois school districts would receive just $200 million or 30 percent of the new funds, despite have 77 percent of total students.
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State Rep Margo McDermed is proud to announce her third annual Summer reading club. This year's theme is "Story Under the Sea"

"I'm pleased to continue with this successful program that encourages students to keep their minds active by reading and learning during their summer break." Rep. McDermed said.

Pamphlets were distributed recently to area schools. They are also available at local libraries or at Rep. McDermed's District Office. Participation in this program can overlap with any other summer reading program offered. Participating students have until August 11th to read ten books. Students who complete this challenge will be invited to an ice cream party. Attendees of the party will receive a certificate from the Illinois House of Representatives and information on college savings programs offered through the State of Illinois.

If you would like a digital copy of Rep, McDermed's reading club pamphlet, click here.
The House and Senate went late in to the evening over the last two days to no avail. The May 31st session deadline has come and gone yet again without a budget.
This special Thursday end of session edition of the Dispatch is a long one, so I’ve broken it down to the bad news, the good news, and the local news:

Bad News
Senate Passes Tax Hike Budget
Last week Senate Democrats passed a $37.7 billion dollar budget with $5.4 billion dollars in tax increases. The new taxes included a 32% income tax hike, from 3.75% to 4.99%. The Senate came as close as they could to a deal on the major issues that made up the grand bargain, but then gave up and essentially punted the issue to the House, which refused to deal with many of them, including the budget. 

Budget Still Nowhere to be Seen in House
The normal session deadline (where the requirement for bill passage is only 60 votes) ended last night with a total of 480 bill passing both chambers. 292 originated from the House and 188 from the Senate. However, before 1pm on the last day of session, House Leadership called for a continuous session throughout the summer, thus making it clear that no budget bills would be debated or called for a vote. A few weeks ago I joined my colleagues in writing to Attorney General Lisa Madigan requesting that she use her authority to force the House to adopt a revenue estimate. Knowing how much we have to spend is an important step in crafting a budget and something that has been absent during my time in office. The House spent more time in session over the last 3 days than in the last three weeks combined. But none of that floor discussion touched on a revenue estimate or the budget. Believe it or not, instead we dealt with things like a bill to require truth in advertising for catfish at restaurants and a bill to reign in feral cat populations.