Fair and equitable school funding must eliminate PTELL and TIF subsidies

For years, many have sought an equitable and fair funding formula for Illinois school district finances. Senate Bill 1 is not that solution despite numerous educational leaders, politicians and media endorsements of the bill’s passage by overriding the governor’s amendatory veto. SB1 retains the most unfair and inequitable practices within the current school funding formula – subsidies related to Illinois’ Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) or Tax Caps and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts. Most don’t realize that after...

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Take advantage of college tax credit for middle class families

Your federal income taxes are due by April 15th. However, there’s still time to offset some of the costs of higher education by reducing the amount of your income tax by up to $2500 with an American Opportunity Tax Credit. According to an article, “Tax breaks for college costs,” published in the Rockford Register Star this past Valentine’s Day, you may reduce the amount of your income tax if you paid for a college student’s educational expenses in 2015 and you and the student meet certain eligibility requirements. A tax credit reduces the...

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Much improvement needed in RSD205 to provide foundation for Transform Rockford

Currently, many positive things are happening in the Rockford School District. The community is providing $250M over the next ten years for elementary school facilities, new high school classrooms and field houses, renovated libraries and new school buildings, providing an environment conducive to learning. The district is also implementing new educational concepts such as career academies, the business and industrial communities are becoming involved with schools through the Rockford Alignment process and volunteering for United Way’s “I...

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Assessed property values based on sales not investments

Property values usually track factors that affect housing supply and demand in a local community – good schools, low crime rate, moderate taxes and a highly skilled work force. This combination attracts business to the area initiating economic development, which in turn offers good jobs with low unemployment. Consistent rankings in the top ten worst cities in the nation have placed Rockford on the opposite end of these successful attributes and as a result Rockford property values reflect the disparaging ratings. By next year, Rockford...

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Harlem school administration recommends deficit spending vs budget cuts

Harlem School district administration is recommending that the board of education exhaust all their education fund cash reserves, plus $1.5M more, instead of any further cuts in spending. Excerpt: Administrators are asking the board to pass a deficit spending plan Monday that puts the education fund — which pays for salaries, benefits and supplies — $1.5 million in the red. That includes spending the remaining $245,000 in education fund reserves. This isn’t the first time that officials have agreed to spend more than the district takes in....

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Obama’s rating system would allow Feds to control higher education

Only Obama would try to figure a way for government to control both higher education  and healthcare in this country, bypassing Congress once again, by allowing bureaucrats to choose which colleges get federal funding based on a federal rating system of all colleges. The country will now have the federal government picking winners and losers based on Obama’s rating system, where bureaucrats will determine what is suitable, such as affordability, accessibility, or any other political criterion the government will try to impose on higher...

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