Accelify Blog

Deleo Bill Will Help Schools to Fund Special Education Programs

March 10, 2010

Illinois State Senator James A. DeLeo (D-Chicago) has sponsored legislation that will allow special education programs to be funded without taking away needed funds from other programs.

"Unfunded mandates have already stretched school district budgets to their breaking point," Senator DeLeo said. "This legislation would allow necessary programs to be funded without taking away from the dollars already appropriated to educate our children."

Senate Bill 3106 will allow schools to raise property taxes to better fund special education. Under this legislation school districts wouldn’t be forced to choose between special education and cutting their budgets in other areas. In addition, under this proposal special education wouldn’t be lumped in with general operations, transportation, etc. under the property tax cap.

Currently, most special education programs are mandated but unfunded which keep increasing the costs of education. As a result, schools have to cut their budgets in other areas so they can continue to afford special education required by law.

In effect, SB 3106 would allow school districts operating under the property tax cap to raise taxes without a referendum to pay for special education expenses beginning in FY2011

This legislation is an initiative of Elmhurst Mayor Pete DiCianni, who in the past has supported other special education programs passed by the General Assembly, particularly those dealing with autism.