Fruit bar pic Web Flickr USDAgovSPRINGFIELD – In many school districts, students who are unable to pay for lunch can be stigmatized with a special wristband or handstamp, and in some cases – even denied lunch.

To stop this practice known as “lunch shaming” in Illinois, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) passed Senate Bill 2428 through the Illinois Senate Education Committee today.

“Lunch shaming punishes kids for the mistakes of their parents,” Stadelman said. “Every student, no matter what their background or parents’ income level, deserves to eat. In some cases, this may be the only hot meal the students eat all day.”

Under Stadelman’s proposal, every school will be required to provide a meal to a student that requests one. While the school can contact the parents directly to request they pay for the child’s lunch, they are prevented from throwing the meal out, forcing the student to wear a wristband or otherwise stigmatizing them.  If the school district is owed $500 or more by a student’s parents and they have made a reasonable effort to collect the debt, the district can request the Comptroller withhold tax refunds to parents to pay off the debt.

“The top priority of our schools is to educate our children,” Stadelman said. “Forcing a hungry child to sit through class makes it nearly impossible for them to focus and could have a long-term impact on their education.”

The proposal passed through the Illinois Senate Education Committee with a vote of 9-2-1. It will now head to the Senate floor for a vote.
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Category: Press Releases

ROCKFORD – Rockford-area public schools will receive an additional $9.3 million for the current school year, thanks to a new school funding plan backed by State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford). The new evidence-based plan sends additional dollars to schools with less access to local resources.

busesWhile projections had been previously available, today the Illinois State Board of Education released the final dollar amounts school districts will receive.

“Thanks to hundreds of hours of bipartisan committees and the hard work of students, educators and parents, today is a historic day for Rockford and Harlem school districts. This new formula offers our schools the stability they need to educate future generations,” Stadelman said.

According to ISBE, Rockford School District will receive nearly $8.6 million more, while Harlem Unit District will receive an additional $772,000. Payments to school districts are expected to begin next week and continue through the rest of the fiscal year.

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Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) released the statement below following Gov. Bruce Rauner’s 2018 budget address.

“Once again, the governor’s rhetoric failed to match reality. He says he wants to reduce property taxes, but today’s proposal will result in a significant property tax increase on Rockford families.  I appreciate the governor’s call for cutting back government, but his priorities are misplaced. While he proposes cutting autism and addiction prevention services, he also proposed spending $30 million on a horse barn in Springfield.

“The governor needs to drop his campaign talking points and lay out a balanced budget that addresses our $8 billion backlog of bills and puts our state on stable financial footing.”

Category: Press Releases

05162017CM0429SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) released the statement below following Gov. Bruce Rauner’s 2018 budget address.

“While the governor laid out broad ideas today, he again failed to present a plan to accomplish them.

“In each of the last three years, we have seen the governor present extensive goals, but fail to achieve them due to combative, partisan politics. It’s my hope the governor will finally be able to present a balanced budget that will attain bipartisan support and bring our state back to financial stability.”

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Category: Press Releases

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