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*** UPDATED x1 *** School funding reform language filed

Monday, Aug 28, 2017

* House amendment 5 to SB1947 was just popped out of Rules Committee. Click here and tell us what you see.

Both parties have gone to caucus meetings, so you have some time to read it over. Don’t forget that you can track all the action with our live coverage post.

*** UPDATE ***   Dusty Rhodes is live-tweeting details of the bill, so here’s a ScribbleLive thingy to watch her work

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Chicagonk - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 11:58 am:

    The scholarship tax credit language looks at first glance pretty good. Cap is $1M, can’t be credited to individual student, only students at 300% of poverty level qualify, donor can’t claim federal deduction along with tax credit.

  2. - My thoughts - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 12:06 pm:

    The Chicago Teachers Union is already trying to link the tax credit (aka private school vouchers) as being racist upon their Facebook.

  3. - Ed Equity - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    When it is standard practice for parents of kids with special education needs to bring an attorney to their IEP meeting, it is a powerful new tool to see that there is double scholarships for kids with special education needs. Low income kids can’t afford lawyers and many actually have some leverage to get what they need either at their traditional school, or if need be else where.

  4. - winners and losers - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 12:34 pm:

    This is a 100 percent credit (not 75 percent).
    Sec. 224. Invest in Kids credit.
    (a) For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2018
    and ending before January 1, 2023, each taxpayer for whom a tax credit has been awarded by the Department under the Invest in Kids Act is entitled to a credit against the tax imposed under
    subsections (a) and (b) of Section 201 of this Act in an amount
    equal to the amount awarded under the Invest in Kids Act.
    (b) For partners, shareholders of subchapter S 8 corporations, and owners of limited liability companies, if the liability company is treated as a partnership for purposes of federal and State income taxation, the credit under this Section shall be determined in accordance with the determination of income and distributive share of income under Sections 702 and 704 and subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code.
    (c) The credit may not be carried back and may not reduce the taxpayer’s liability to less than zero. If the amount of the credit exceeds the tax liability for the year, the excess may be carried forward and applied to the tax liability of the 5 taxable years following the excess credit year. The tax credit shall be applied to the earliest year for which there is a tax liability. If there are credits for more than one year that are available to offset the liability, the earlier credit shall be applied first.
    (d) A tax credit awarded by the Department under the Invest in Kids Act may not be claimed for any qualified contribution for which the taxpayer claims a federal income tax deduction.

  5. - Anon221 - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    Dusty Rhodes is breaking down the changes at

  6. - winners and losers - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 12:39 pm:

    ==standard practice for parents of kids with special education needs to bring an attorney to their IEP meeting==

    This is utter nonsense. This may happen (rarely) with very wealthy people, but I have been in thousands of IEP meetings and have had it happen once.

  7. - Juice - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 12:41 pm:

    winners and losers, you’re looking at the wrong part of the bill. From page 4 under credit awards, “For contributions made under this Act, the credit shall be equal to 75% of the total amount of qualified contributions made by the taxpayer during a taxable year, not to exceed a credit of $1,000,000 per taxpayer.”

  8. - H-W - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 12:48 pm:

    Why 300% of the poverty level? Why not restrict it to 100% of the poverty level ($35,000, which would be the poor and the working poor), or 200% ($70,000, which would be the working class)? Why include families above the national median income?

  9. - Ed Equity - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    winner and losers, show me a special education advocacy organization doing anything but arming parents with attorneys?

    When scaling attorneys is your answer, perhaps the system is broken?

  10. - Disgusted Downstate - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    Some other details I saw in a quick read:
    Chicago gets 37% of early childhood block grant.
    Waiver of some mandates, including PE. Also looks like schools can cut PE to 3 of 5 days without a waiver and expands the sports exemption to 7-12th grades.
    Property tax relief pool grants that sound like a mess to administer.
    TIF’s won’t count in EAV.
    Chicago gets to increase its pension levy.
    Schools will be required to submit spending plans to detail how they will achieve growth with this money.
    The state will tell schools how much they have to spend on special ed. services.

  11. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 12:51 pm:

    Why give people with such high incomes health insurance subsides either?

  12. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 12:54 pm:

    Up to a million dollar annual tax credit to a bunch of rich alums who would donate to Loyola Academy or Joliet Catholic or St. Teresa anyway.

    Makes me sick that my taxes went up to pay for this.

    We need more public school alums in government.

  13. - Steve - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 1:07 pm:

    For those who are for the status quo : this isn’t permanent , it’s just 5 years. Even if it produces goods results there’s no guarantee the tax credits for continue on . It’s not like decisions are made in Illinois based on facts. Those who have the political upper hand in 5 years will win. This isn’t about education or children.

  14. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    Thanks, Juice. So a few people can contribute $1M each year and reduce their tax by $750,000 each year.

  15. - winners and losers - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    Ed Equity: I am familiar with all the advocacy groups and the very few attorneys that they have attend very few IEP meetings.

    In fact it is far more common to have a school district attorney attend an IEP meeting than it is to have a parental one.

    Personally, I would prohibit any attorney from attending an IEP meeting as it greatly inhibits educational decisions in the best interest of the child.

  16. - Sue - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    CTU really misses the point. It is racist to deny minority students access to private schools. Why is it these days the left’s go to argument is always racism? There is actually an article in the wsj today exactly on that question

  17. - LakeviewJ - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 1:29 pm:

    Page 77, allows for referendum to lower tax extension in districts above 110% of the adequacy target. Not gonna be beloved by wealthy school districts.

  18. - Ed Equity - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 1:37 pm:

    I am Mexican and live in Chicago and my kids can’t get into selective enrollment schools, where the quality lies. They can however get into many private schools — so please don’t tell me this is discriminatory.

    Additionally, under the $12,300 scholarship….only 5% goes to admin.

    Compare that to 50%+ admin at CPS and this is not only pro-kids of color, it is pro teacher. More money goes into the classroom.

    Then there is the additional bump for kids who are ELL or gifted.

    Too many kids who are kids of color don’t have access to gifted programs, but now they do….additional bump for being gifted.

    We can go on and on….tax credit scholarships are great for outlier kids.

  19. - Fred - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 1:42 pm:

    == Property tax relief pool grants ==

    Not only a mess to administer, but they were not funded in the budget. It’s a complete joke that those grants are even being mentioned in the “compromise” bill unless they open up the BIMP to fund them.

  20. - Perrid - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 1:54 pm:

    H-W, where are you getting those numbers? Federal poverty level for a 1 person household is about $12,000, so 300% would be about $36,000 a year. For a family of 4 the FPL is $24,600, so about $74,000, or if we assume two working parents then $37,000 per parent. This isn’t that much, it’s a little above the median income per capita. So half of people would qualify.

  21. - winners and losers - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 2:05 pm:

    Ed Equity - 5% to the group that administers the program PLUS administrative cost of the school if you are going to compare with public schools.

    CPS spends too much on administration, but it is not 50%+.

    A 10 or 20% bump will not greatly affect ELL or gifted programs in private schools. SOME already accept only gifted (or wealthy) students.

    Private schools do NOT have to comply with Public school laws.

  22. - Whatever - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 2:13 pm:

    winners and losers @ 12:34 — it’s a 75% credit. The statute you quoted allows the taxpayer to claim a credit for the “amount awarded” under the Invest in Kids Act. The Invest in Kids Act allows the award of a credit of 75% of a qualified contribution.

  23. - Lt Guv - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 2:31 pm:

    Time for a Ted Leverenz question of “Now?”

  24. - Norseman - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 2:34 pm:

    === That TIF reform task force would be exempt from FOIA and Open Meetings Act ===

    It’s always great to hear when a reform task force can meet and discuss matters in secret. Lucy, you’ve got some ’splaining to do.

  25. - crazybleedingheart - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 2:36 pm:

    I may have put too many exclamation points in my post for it to show up.

    I thought we were broke.

    We were broke until somebody wanted a free ride on getting their name listed in the booster program.

  26. - crazybleedingheart - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 2:37 pm:

    posts do not appear

  27. - Rod - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 3:05 pm:

    So on page 17 of the bill I read this section. Each student who receives a scholarship is eligible for funding currently not to exceed about 12,973.10 a year (the statewide average operational expense per student among public schools). But there is the following provision relating to students with disabilities. “The statewide average operational expense per student among public schools shall be multiplied by the following factors: (1) for students determined eligible to receive services under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.”

    So what it the multiplier? Is it a the determination of the scholarship granting organization?

  28. - H-W - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 3:12 pm:

    @ Perrid - You are right. I was being sloppy regarding poverty thresholds. 300% would be about $75,000 for a family of 4 (IL median income is $60,000). My sloppiness was due to just wanting to ask the broader question of why they chose these criteria of exclusion? At some point, a committee decided to exclude households above $75,000. Why? Alternatively, if they exclude the upper-middle class and above, why not focus solely on the poor? etc. Sorry for being sloppy - no excuse here.

  29. - MyTwoCents - Monday, Aug 28, 17 @ 4:00 pm:

    I’m not a huge fan of the tax credit program, but if that’s what it takes to pass the bill so be it. There are some good controls on the bill. I just think the cap is way too high and plays into the narrative this is just another tax break for the wealthy. I think the credit cap should be only maybe $250,000. Or at the very least reserve some lower income credits, like if I wanted to donate $1,000.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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