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“This new formula will make sure children in all environments; urban, suburban and rural, are able to get an education at a school that is fairly funded.” - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

PEORIA – Peoria-area schools could see increases in state funding under the new school funding formula passed by the General Assembly. The new formula, passed as Senate Bill 1, prioritizes new money to schools furthest from equity.

Some of those school districts that could see large increases include Peoria, Pekin, Canton and Limestone. Under SB 1, major Peoria-area schools are estimated to get the following amounts:

  • Canton Union District 66: $762,658
  • Limestone Community High District 310: $539,074
  • Pekin Community High District 303: $727,431
  • Pekin Public Schools District 108: $544,824
  • Peoria Public Schools District 150: $1,812,332

Under the same plan, due to its classification as a high-tax district, East Peoria Community High School District 309 could potentially see property tax relief because of increased state aid.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) voted for the new formula, citing the need of downstate Illinois school districts with low property wealth.

“It is no secret that our school funding formula leaves far too many students behind simply because they live in a poor school district,” Koehler said. “This new formula will make sure children in all environments; urban, suburban and rural, are able to get an education at a school that is fairly funded.”

SB 1 also contains a hold-harmless provision that guarantees no schools will receive less money from the state.

Category: Press Releases

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“With more social workers in schools, we may be able to catch learning deficiencies early and help children grow.” - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

SPRINGFIELD – Local schools will be allowed to hire more social workers under legislation passed in the Illinois Senate today. House Bill 826 would allow schools to employ enough social workers to meet the nationally recommended social worker to student ratio of 250:1.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is the legislation’s sponsor in the Senate.

“We are not forcing schools to hire more social workers in an unfunded mandate,” Koehler said. “All we are saying is if schools want to use their resources to reach the recommended ratio of social workers to students, then we should allow them to do so.”

Past research has shown that diverse students such as those with disabilities or minorities are at a greater risk of having mental health challenges but less likely to receive the necessary services. With more social workers in schools, the hope is that those services will be more easily accessible.

“With more social workers in schools, we may be able to catch learning deficiencies early and help children grow,” Koehler said. “These selfless individuals are crucial to helping struggling students get on the path to success.”

According to the School Social Work Association of America, school social workers provide evidence-based education, behavior and mental health services to students.

The legislation passed both the House and Senate unanimously.

 

Category: Press Releases

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“If and when we find these types of regulations, we should do everything we can to free those businesses from the burdensome redundancies.” - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

SPRINGFIELD – A redundant food handling certificate required by the state will be no more under legislation passed by the Illinois Senate. House Bill 3684 would eliminate the certificate and $35 fee, helping small business owners and workers.

Currently, the Illinois Department of Public Health requires workers to complete an approved training program and pass an exam provided by an accredited exam provider. After the person passes the exam and pays for the national certificate, they are required to electronically send that certificate to the state and pay $35 for an Illinois specific certificate.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) sponsored the legislation that would eliminate the $35 fee.

“Redundant regulations make it difficult to manage the day-to-day operations of their business instead of focusing on growing,” said Koehler, a former small business owner himself. “If and when we find these types of regulations, we should do everything we can to free those businesses from the burdensome redundancies.”

The measure passed the Senate without opposition.

Category: Press Releases

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“The men and women of our armed forces who gave their last full measure of devotion to their country represent the purest form of honor and duty.” - State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria)

SPRINGFIELD – A portion of Route 78 will be named after an Illinois soldier is was killed in Afghanistan last year. The portion of the state highway between Canton and Farmington will be renamed the “Sgt. Douglas Riney Memorial Highway” under House Joint Resolution 43.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) sponsored the resolution in the Senate while State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) sponsored it in the House.

“The men and women of our armed forces who gave their last full measure of devotion to their country represent the purest form of honor and duty,” Koehler said. “The people of Fulton County and central Illinois will remember soldiers like Sergeant Riney every time they drive down this highway, guaranteeing they will never be forgotten.”

Sgt. Riney was serving with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment when he was killed in the Afghan capital of Kabul. Riney had been in the Army since 2012.

Riney was a native of Fairview and had previously worked as a volunteer firefighter for the Fairview Fire Protection District.

A full copy of the resolution can be found here.

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
M113 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8250

Peoria Office:
400 NE Jefferson, Suite 200
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 677-0120