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Senator Stadelman's Weekly Bulletin - June 12, 2017

Community celebrates new school construction, expanded sports facilities
Senator Steve Stadelman participated this week in the official "kick off" of Mercyhealth Sportscore Two by booting one of the first soccer balls to fly in the expanded Indoor Sports Center at the Rockford Park District complex. Stadelman passed legislation to secure a funding mechanism for the Reclaiming First initiative, a campaign to regain for Rockford the No. 1 position in the state's sports tourism market through the $30 million Sportscore upgrade and the transformation of a vacant factory on the downtown riverfront into UW Health Sports Factory. 

Stadelman also joined administrators, parents and students at a groundbreaking ceremony this week for a new school on Perryville Road south of Harrison Avenue. The $15.7 million, 86,000-square-foot building is the first new school built by Rockford Public Schools since 1998.  It replaces Cherry Valley, White Swan and Thompson elementary schools as part of a 10-year, $250 million facilities upgrade.

Senate Democrats pass fair funding for all Illinois schools
Illinois school districts, shortchanged for decades under the state's worst-in-the-nation education funding formula, could see a significant influx of funding to level the playing field between rich and poor districts under a landmark school funding reform measure passed in both houses of the General Assembly.

"A fix for our broken school funding system has been a long time coming," said Senator Steve Stadelman, a vocal advocate since 2012 before he was elected to his first term. "Our over-reliance on property taxes to pay for public education creates a fundamental inequity that hurts Rockford and many other less prosperous communities around the state. The quality of a child's education should not depend on his or her zip code."
Under Senate Bill 1, no school district would receive less funding than what the current formula provides. Rockford public schools would see a $5 million increase and Harlem public schools would get an extra $650,000, according to an analysis by Funding Illinois' Future released this week.
The legislation would establish a formula that takes into account factors such as students with disabilities, English language learners and low-income students. It also offers property tax relief.


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