Lombard’s Glenbard East High School Hosts Governor Rauner for Announcement of School Unfunded Mandate Relief Bill

State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) joined Governor Bruce Rauner, Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti and other lawmakers today at Glenbard East High School, in Lombard, for the unveiling of new legislation that could save Illinois public schools more than $200 million through unfunded mandate relief.

“Unfunded mandates drive up property taxes, and as legislators, we need to be doing everything we can to provide taxpayers with relief,” said Breen, who represents Illinois’ 48th

District, in which Glenbard East is located. “It was wonderful that the Governor chose Glenbard East as the backdrop for today’s announcement. I hear regularly from local taxpayers who simply cannot afford the astronomical taxes they must pay, and I’m pleased to see the Governor providing full support to our initiatives to ease that tax burden.”

Illinois school districts have been forced to comply with nearly 150 unfunded mandates in the past 25 years, with the General Assembly enacting more than 135 unfunded mandates in the last 15 years.

“Providing districts with this relief costs taxpayers absolutely nothing, but will save districts millions,” Rauner said. “By freeing districts from these costly mandates, schools will have more flexibility to invest their resources in classrooms and teachers. It’s a win for students, parents, districts and taxpayers.”

The legislation eliminates restrictions on third-party contracting, which eases limitations and financial pressures on school districts. This type of mandate relief is already provided to Chicago Public Schools and this legislation extends this relief to every school district in Illinois. In addition, it eases some curriculum mandates imposed from Springfield on local districts.

School mandate relief reflects several proposals from the Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force. "School district unfunded mandates drive up property taxes and limit local control," Sanguinetti said. "As a mother of three, I think local school districts and parents should be deciding what's best for our children, not Springfield. We need to give the power and flexibility back to local communities and parents, and this bill does just that."