Beware lame-duck deals in works

Democrats are meeting in secret, behind closed doors this summer to discuss fundamental changes to the way education is funded in Illinois. As parents and taxpayers, we should be worried — very worried.

History has shown that lame duck sessions are notoriously dangerous for taxpayers. Are these secret meetings a prelude to higher taxes during the upcoming lame duck session?

We are told the basis for discussion by Democrats is Senate Bill 16. Introduced last spring, the bill would shift revenues among school districts and weaken local control. It was never called for a vote in the House and changes to the bill by Democrats will likely look much different. While I appreciate the Senate sponsor’s good intentions and his willingness to take on this issue, his proposal gives to some school districts by taking away from others. If our goal is to provide every student in Illinois with the best possible education, we must strive to build up districts in need without tearing down those who are already doing a good job.

As written, Senate Bill 16 does not provide fair and equitable funding across-the-board. It simply picks new winners and losers. Among the losers would be many suburban and larger downstate school districts whose property taxpayers are already footing a larger share of the bill. Read the entire guest column by House Minority Leader Jim Durkin in the Daily Herald.