koehler floor apr 6SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Senate passed Sen. Andy Manar’s proposal to overhaul the state’s outdated education funding formula. Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) supported the measure that would change the way school districts receive state funding based on need rather than geography.

“Senator Andy Manar’s education funding reform gives every student in Illinois a chance for success regardless of their ZIP code or socioeconomic background. The current formula, created more than 20 years ago, no longer fits the issues many of our communities are currently facing, especially in many urban and rural areas.

“I voted in favor of Senate Bill 231 so that we can continue to find real solutions that provide relief and give stability to our most underserved communities. The overhaul of classroom funding would start us on the right path of education funding stability, which many of our school districts need.”

Senate Bill 231 now goes to the House for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

Koehler Map GrantsSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Senate passed an emergency funding bill to keep public universities open and help MAP grant recipients attend classes.

“Students should be able to attend college without worrying about piling up excessive amounts of debt,” said Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria). “Funding MAP grants and helping our public universities remain open will allow thousands of students to learn and grow in a stable environment.”

Senate Bill 2059 will provide $600 million in funding for public universities, community colleges, city colleges and MAP grant recipients.

The Illinois Senate also passed Senate Bill 2047, which provides emergency funding for human services.

“Today, my colleagues and I passed emergency funding in the Senate to give human service providers a necessary relief while we work to end the budget impasse,” said Koehler.

Senate Bills 2059 and 2047 passed the Senate 55-0. Senate Bill 2047 now goes to the House for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

koehler committee april2016SPRINGFIELD – This week, Governor Rauner released an education funding proposal that, according to critics, does not go far enough in helping Illinois students across the state. Even though the governor’s plan fully funds education at the current foundation level, it still leaves 35 percent of districts as financial “losers” for the upcoming fiscal year. In response, state Senator Dave Koehler (D – Peoria) released the following statement.

“The governor’s education funding proposal fully funds the current foundational level, and it also fully embraces an unfair education system that abandons the very students that need the most financial help.

“Wealthier, growing schools stand to gain money from the governor’s proposal, while poorer, shrinking schools throughout the Peoria area would see stark decreases in funding in the hundreds of thousands of dollars when they can ill afford it.

“Providing a little more funding for some schools, while completely disregarding the disparity in property tax revenue for the poorest districts, is a travesty and must be reformed immediately. This is why Sen. Manar’s need-based education reform plan that would dole out more state money to the districts with lower-income families is so crucial. The well-being of every student, every school and every district must be taken into account, or as a state, we all suffer.”

Sen. Manar has been working on education reform and has yet to receive any numbers on the effect of his reform after repeated inquires to the Illinois State Board of Education.

Category: News

koehler sos 16SPRINGFIELD – The hard work of Peoria-area college students from Spoon River College and Illinois Central College to Bradley University may finally be rewarded as it should be thanks to nearly $400 million in MAP grant being freed by the legislature today.

Passing through the House and Senate this morning, the legislation now only has the final hurdle of the governor’s desk to jump through before students can finally feel the financial relief of these crucial dollars. It is unclear whether the governor will sign the legislation into law.

“Low-income students should be able to pursue higher education without the burden of extreme debts or the fear that they might not be able to afford it,” said state Senator Dave Koehler (D – Peoria), co-sponsor of the legislation.

The $32 million increase in funding over last year’s allocation could stand to benefit an additional 15,000 students across the state, including many in the Peoria area.

Community colleges, without the benefit of a higher influx of tuition dollars, have been hit by the budget impasse particularly hard. Therefore, SB 2043 also provides over $260 million for operational costs at community colleges throughout the state.

Category: Press Releases

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