School Funding

At both a higher education and elementary and high school level, the state has failed us in recent years. I want to provide more resources to schools from the state level which would hopefully reduce property taxes and decrease the cost of tuition at Illinois institutions. 

Our property taxes in the south suburbs are out of control, with roughly 2/3 of the taxes going to the schools. If our district was getting its fair share from the state, our property taxes could be lower. I believe that money is going to districts with a much larger tax base (and lower property tax rates) and I want to put an end to it.  We are paying a much higher rate than we should in property taxes to fund our schools.     

I also want to propose a tax credit where if you think the public school in another district can provide a better education than your resident district, you will receive a tax credit for paying the out of district cost to attend another school.  

I believe that the state needs to provide more money towards higher education and the Guaranteed Tuition Rate law needs to be eliminated because it inflates costs each year.  

When I was a freshman at the University of Illinois Urbana –Champaign in 1999 (not that long ago), I clearly remember walking down the quad with my friend one day. She was showing me her tuition bill for the semester and I remember it being roughly $2,500. My bill was roughly twice that amount at around $5,000, including tuition, room and board and fees. As we were walking, I remember her reasoning that $2,500 was only for her tuition (she lived in one of the “private” dorms that she was billed separately).  

All of that is to say that in 1999, a full year’s worth of tuition plus room and board at the U of I was roughly $10,500. The cost went from $0 to $10,500 in over 130 years. The estimate from the U of I website for an “in state” freshman for the 2017 Fall semester is $17,940. That is over $35,000 at the U of I for an accounting degree for one year. The cost has more than tripled in less than 20 years.  

The reason that tuition has gone through the roof is in part due to the Guaranteed Tuition Rate law.  Instead of tuition increasing at a modest 1%-3% or so each year, tuition has been increasing 10% or more each year for each incoming class because that rate has  been “locked in” by the General Assembly.  Removing the Guaranteed Tuition rate Law should help slow the increases.  

More money needs to be allocated to higher education so that students aren’t saddled with a mortgage payment worth of student loans for an in state school.