Breen Bill to Reduce School District Administrative Spending Sails Through Education Committee

In a unanimous vote on Wednesday morning, the House of Representatives’ Elementary & Secondary Education- Licensing, Administration & Oversight committee recommended approval of legislation sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) which would bring public school district administrative costs in line with national averages. The bill would also limit future administrative spending increases to the consumer price index or 5%, whichever is lower.

“It’s long past time to get control of our school district administrative spending,” said Breen. “Illinois schools are spending about 2 ½ times the national average on these costs. When our school districts bring these expenditures in line with national norms, we can either redirect that money toward classroom instruction where kids would directly benefit or use that money to reduce property taxes.”

According to Breen, the General Assembly last took up the Limitation of Administrative Costs section of Illinois law in 1997, and two decades later, the metrics in that section used have become outdated and insufficient. “Whether school districts use shared service agreements, intergovernmental agreements, or the consolidation tools available to them, there are a variety of ways to get administrative costs back to the national average,” Breen said. “The Better Government Association suggested last year that $400 million could be saved if Illinois schools limited administrative spending to national averages, as outlined in this bill.”

With the committee’s 8-0 recommendation for approval, Breen’s HB 4789 will now be forwarded to the House floor for a full debate and vote.

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