SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
The great divide

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014

* The Daily Herald looks at the vast disparity in suburban school property taxes

The gap between the top and bottom suburban districts is vast. On one end of the spectrum is Rondout Elementary District 72 in Lake Forest, which will collect $30,381 in property taxes per student this year. On the opposite end is East Aurora Unit District 131, which has a property tax collection level of $2,816 per student, according to district budget documents submitted to the state.

“The main reason for the huge differences has to do with property tax wealth,” said Larry Joseph, director of fiscal policy at Chicago-based Voices for Illinois Children. “The heavy reliance on property taxes to fund schools combined with the weak support from the state just makes for very large fiscal disparities.”

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


31 Comments
  1. - Bill White - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    I have mixed feelings about this.

    Yes, there is disparity but Michigan moving away from property taxes a few decades ago has now given Governor Snyder and the MI GOP the ability to slash ALL education funding.

    I would like to see increased state aid to less wealthy districts but I also am nervous about transferring control over all education funding to Springfield.


  2. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    This actually plays a bit into one of the Ruaner comments that some kids are not our problem…

    It would be interesting to see how people would react if their district had to merge with other nearby poorer districts. So if the Naperville and Oswego districts that touch the East Aurora had to merge into one superdistrict as it were…


  3. - medium rare - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    Yes, we definitely need to look at changing how we fund schools in this state. Current system is not working. This is a very good article.


  4. - Pete - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    How about the school districts follow the state house districts?


  5. - Downstate GOP voter - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    I fully agree that the value of property in a school district is an important factor in setting property tax rates. However, Rondout Elementary District 72 is an elementary school district and East Aurora Unit District 131 is a unit school district. These two type of school districts have different cost structures which in turn requires different revenues.

    First, unit and elementary districts pay their staff, mainly teachers, differently and other educational expenses at the two types of school districts are also different. For example, few if any elementary districts have football stadiums or chemistry labs.

    Second, Rondout Elementary District 72, as with any elementary district, ‘feeds’ its students to a secondary school district in the same community. The existence of two overlaying school districts implies that there are two sets of overheads, for example two boards of education and pay for two superintendents, that will also impact the cost structures of and elementary district vs a unit district.

    I think that a better comparison would be between two elementary districts or between two unit districts.


  6. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    Then there’s the example of Proviso Township High Schools that has a strong property tax base and is well funded and the test scores suck.

    Which has stronger correlation to student test scores?

    a. good property tax base
    b. high per pupil spending
    c. student income level
    d. demographics

    My take looking through the scores was as follows:

    If the district spent in the top third and the White plus Asian was over 90% the school district had high test scores.

    If the district had Black plus Latino over 90%, the school district had low scores, no matter what.

    A couple districts deserved positive recognition. Evanston Township High School was the only district where the percent of students who didn’t meet standards was lower than the % of students who qualified for free and reduced lunch.

    Also, Elmwood Park HS had a high percentage of Latino students of moderate income level, but a high rate of students being at or above standards.


  7. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    There is no fix. short answer, if you homogenized all property tax money for schools, you would still have schools where individuals donated money to the school so the school was better funded.

    I do think they should implement more of a flat fee either per persone or per household for schools, divide that money up equally, and if individuals want to contribute to a school so be it. uniform public funding and then whatever the schools can capture on their own.


  8. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:11 pm:

    ===There is no fix. short answer, if you homogenized all property tax money for schools, you would still have schools where individuals donated money to the school so the school was better funded.===

    That’s not really a valid argument for why there is “no fix” for this.


  9. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    What would a “fixed” public education system look like?

    These conversations pretend that what we want in public education is self evident.

    OK. Here’s my challenge.

    Explain what a quality public education system would look like in Illinois.


  10. - MrJM - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    I miss Dawn Clark Netsch…

    – MrJM


  11. - anonxx - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    If we move away from local funding and toward a statewide approach to raising and distributing education funding, more tax dollars from the Chicago area will be sent downstate to support schools. Is this the right approach or the wrong approach, I don’t know.


  12. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:25 pm:

    let me rephrase :) There is a fix to the property tax disparity. you can equalize, and we should equalize, the money given to each school to operate per student.

    That will not however change the exitsance of better funded schools, it will just change the source of how the money is directed to the schools. You can better fund all schools, and come up with a system that provides every school the same amount of public tax dollars, which we should. But at the end of the day there will still be school with a lot better funding based on the abilty of individuals with more liquid assets to direct additional resoruces and money to schools of their choice.


  13. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    It’s even harder to understand this inequality when some of the wealthiest districts are fewer than 10 miles away from some of the poorest, like Lake Forest and Highland Park are to North Chicago and Waukegan.


  14. - medium rare - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:30 pm:

    “Explain what a quality public education system would look like in Illinois”

    very challenging to do, Nyburg. You’re right.

    Look, I think we can agree that there will be no perfect solutions to public school funding in Illinois…..however, that does not preclude us from striving to do better than we are currently.


  15. - Hit or Miss - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:37 pm:

    I just checked the ISBE report card data for 2013. This is for 2013, the most recent data online for Rondout Elementary District 72 and East Aurora Unit District 13.

    According to the ISBE Rondout spends $25,189 per year per student and has only 158 students in the district. East Aurora spends $10,292 per student per year and has 14,758 students in the district.

    The State of Illinois funds just over $900 per student per year of the cost in Rondout and about $6450 per student per year of the cost in East Aurora.

    The question in my mind is not why the property tax collections are so different by why is the State of Illinois funding such different amounts. What factor or factors can cause this more than 6:1 difference?


  16. - k3 - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:37 pm:

    I would like a quality public education system that prepared our kids for what is after school. I don’t think test scores matter. Can you help my kid be ready for college and even after by teaching critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration? Or teach the same thing and prepare them to enter the trades? That’s obviously not being done now, and is funding really the answer? Maybe it’s about re-prioritization.


  17. - Under Influenced - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:58 pm:

    Senate has a committee that has been holding hearings on ed funding:

    http://educationfundingreform.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=1&Itemid=106


  18. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:01 pm:

    ==The question in my mind is not why the property tax collections are so different by why is the State of Illinois funding such different amounts.==

    The more local wealth you have the less you get from the state. Why wouldn’t that be the case? Why are you going to give a locally wealthy district the same amount of money from the state as a district with little local tax base???


  19. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:04 pm:

    Even the most altruistic parents in the better funded districts seem highly unlikely to say: “Yes, please give my children’s school less money”.

    It means giving some of the underfunded schools more funding, which is a good thing.

    It also means involuntarily taking a dollar from their child’s education and giving it to someone else, which suddenly becomes quite a personal thing.


  20. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:13 pm:

    lets create a funding source for education, maybe something connected to gambling…lets legalize the numbers racket and have the State run it. We will then committ the money to education. But then lets sell that enterprise to an outsider for quick cash, and cap the money for education so that over time we reduce what we provide education.


  21. - lakecounty - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    - Hit or Miss - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 12:37 pm:
    Note that Illinois has a foundation level of funding that is dependent on a school’s poverty rate, etc. Higher need schools receive higher amounts of foundation funding, while schools with high property tax receipts receive less. Funding for the foundation level comes from Illinois taxes (not property taxes). This link will provide you with an explanation:
    http://www.isbe.state.il.us/budget/FY14/fact-sheet4-efab.pdf
    Illinois has not completely funded to the recommended foundation level since 2002. This year recommended funding was $8,672 vs actual of $6119 for high poverty schools. Kinda like the pensions, oh well, so what else is new.


  22. - mythoughtis - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:21 pm:

    ==If we move away from local funding and toward a statewide approach to raising and distributing education funding, more tax dollars from the Chicago area will be sent downstate to support schools==

    Given the fact that the people you most likely interact with during your adulthood did not graduate from the district that you pay taxes into during the time you paid taxes, then what’s the problem with that scenario?

    I want my doctors, dentists, nurses, accountants, retail and service clerks, home health care workers, and so forth to be properly educated. Given what I just said, I should expect that some of the money I pay for schools goes somewhere other than my district.


  23. - Bill White - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:34 pm:

    I support funding downstate schools (and schools in the less affluent Chicagoland districts) from general state revenues. However, I am less supportive of having all education funding pass through Springfield.

    Full funding of the foundation level @lakecounty refers to would be a place to start.


  24. - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    Here’s an idea, though it will never happen.

    Fund the student, not the system.

    Have the state charge a Luxury Tax on districts that are overfunded enough to pay obscene salaries to staff.

    If your staff is paid at state average, you’re OK.

    If you can afford to pay 10% above average in salary and benefits, you pay a percentage of the overage to the state who redistributes it to those paying 10% LESS than state average, indexed to local cost of living, of course.

    In Arizona, we can get up to a $400 tax CREDIT for contributing to a school of our choice. That way the money can go to deserving, TRULY underfunded schools near a community.

    It would be interesting to see if those Lake Forest liberals would give it to their local overfunded schools or to the neediest in the state.

    What do think about doing that in Illinois?


  25. - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:41 pm:

    Bill, there has to be a criterion other than property value in rural areas to establish fair state funding.

    For example, a rich farming community could well afford to pay suburban levels of funding to education, but they get off easy since the state takes from the burbs to give it downstate schools for them. The money leaves our pockets, and STAYS in theirs unfairly.

    Community net income might be a better way to determine redistribution.


  26. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    @Ghost @1:13 - Comment of the day.


  27. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 2:17 pm:

    ==there has to be a criterion other than property value in rural areas to establish fair state funding==

    Funding comes from property taxes so I’m not sure how anything other than property values would be a relevant measure.

    ==The money leaves our pockets, and STAYS in theirs unfairly.==

    You could make that argument for anything where taxes are concerned. Are you advocating that your area always gets back what they pay in state taxes? Taxes are inherently redistributive because they are used by the state for the ENTIRE state.


  28. - Confused - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    Living in Highland Park, I want to throw my support behind any effort to make my property tax more equitable. How about we just let me pay the average assessment across the state?


  29. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    Evanston spends large amounts of money on each pupil, but the disparity in test scores and grade point averages continues to defy efforts to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor kids. The honors program at ETHS was under attack for being too white.


  30. - Judgment Day - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    Following observations:

    First: “Schools funded primarily from local property taxes, under administration from State of Illinois”.

    Ok, but you’re already halfway there, and from the posts, it’s pretty clear nobody’s really impressed by the results. All local property taxation power comes from the State of Illinois (See Property Tax Code of 1993, as Amended), and things work - eventually, kinda, sorta, maybe, sometimes - you get the drift.

    You really sure you want to give the State MORE control over the process? IL DOR is already buried, as if Property Tax Appeal Board. Now multiply than 102 times over (102 = # of IL Counties).

    We already have a local property tax environment where we have active Township involvement (Assessors), tax district(s) involvement (levies, bonds, etc.); County involvement (Assessor/Chief Co. Assessment Officials; County Clerks, and County Treasurers); outside vendors who provide data processing services that are virtually all legacy Windows 32 bit client-server software that is all customized, and is on the verge of becoming obsolete, with a number of different reporting processes (wonderfully complex) to IL DOR at different point in the process, all before the locals can get tax bills printed and out.

    IMO, it’s a miracle it works at all.

    So, before you decide to ‘reform’ the local property tax system even more, you might want to learn a lesson from ACA before you start - things can get worse.

    Just a thought.


  31. - lakecounty - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 8:16 pm:

    - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, Jan 22, 14 @ 1:41 pm:
    “It would be interesting to see if those Lake Forest liberals would give it to their local overfunded schools or to the neediest in the state.”

    If you were from Illinois or living in Lake County you would know there are very few liberals in Lake Forest!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Google Wallet now accepts recurring transfers, shows Low Balance alerts
        * 10 cleverest Lumia shots of the month: Color Pop special
        * Sony Xperia Z3 now available for purchase through T-Mobile
        * Tapkast Brings Ephemeral Status Updates To Your iPhone’s Lock Screen
        * Google Drive, Docs for Android updated with better search, PDF viewer
        * Lenovo Has Completed The $2.91 Billion Acquisition Of Motorola From Google
        * Use these apps to keep your little monsters safe on Halloween

        * The New GoPro Cameras: Everything You Need to Know
        * Deleting your Facebook page is foolish
        * Any.do 2.0 Adds New Tools to Collaborate, Plan Your Day, and More
        * Download Over $100 In Premium Android Apps For Free Today
        * The Lesser-Known Factors That Determine Your Car Insurance Rate
        * Samsung invests in internet of things identity management platform Evrythng
        * Assassin’s Creed Unity With NVIDIA’s GameWorks Shown Off On Video

        * The offseason begins with a new Chicago manager and old arguments
        * World Series Game 7: Notes and discussion
        * Guillen, White Sox look back on '05 championship
        * White Sox offseason plan roundup: Designated hitter
        * Fall Stars Game filled to brim with talent
        * World Series Game 6: Notes and discussion
        * Thomas proud with Big Hurt Brewhouse set to open


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Waukegan School Board member apologizes for tel.....
        * State Intervenes In Waukegan Teachers Strike..
        * Chamber leaders reflect on state, national poli.....
        * Hillary Clinton is everywhere this week. That w.....
        * Dave McKinney: Mensch..
        * Dems rush to save suddenly vulnerable incumbents..
        * DCCC Head, Rep. Steve Israel: ‘We’re In Trench .....


        * Illinois' US Senate candidates spar in last debate
        * Candidates spar in final debate US Senate debate
        * Chicago mayoral candidate says he can raise $3M
        * Judge denies ex-representative new bribery trial
        * Chicago pol investigated in prizes-for-votes plan
        * Restructuring to close 9 Chicago Catholic schools
        * Grocery chain sues Clorox for price discrimination
        * Lawyer: Rap reference in complaint misleading
        * Waukegan school board apologizes for actions
        * Rail improvements would increase daily trips

        * Judge denies ex-representative new bribery trial
        * Libertarian candidate for governor gets union cash
        * Illinois Supreme Court justice faces opposition
        * Quinn pledges $1.3M for 3-state intermodal port
        * Vallas: Rauner ‘doesn’t get it’ on minimum wage
        * Acquiring first seeds a dilemma for medical marijuana growers
        * Election 2014: Background on the big races, endorsements, videos
        * Medical pot dilemma: Where to get the first seeds?
        * Vallas: Rauner “doesn’t get it” on minimum wage
        * Ex-state lawmaker could change plea in child porn case

        * Apple CEO: 'I'm proud to be gay'
        * Is this the cheapest price yet for college textbooks?
        * 10 Things to Do
        * Classy in the classroom
        * Allstate profit more than doubles


        * Durbin, Oberweis square off for final time
        * Refund those unfair yellow-light tickets
        * Sad day  when  Catholic  schools  close
        * Let’s not oversell CTA terrorist screenings
        * Let’s not oveRsell CTA terrorist screenings
        * Tourism biz should be more transparent
        * Emanuel: ‘World is different now,’ defends CTA random bag checks
        * Schneider, Dold fighting for the Jewish vote in 10th District: Sweet
        * Off-duty correctional officer shot; wounded suspect arrested at hospital
        * Man awaiting trial on sex assault charges accused of murder


        * Man charged in downtown convenience store robberies
        * Police shoot man in Back of the Yards
        * Waukegan school district, teachers announce tentative contract
        * Trauma center protesters target U. of C. capital campaign
        * U of C: No deal with nurses by Friday; union eyes strike vote
        * Teen shot in Marquette Park
        * Durbin touts record; Oberweis blasts 'political speak'
        * In video, mother tells how she wrapped newborn in plastic, put him in trash
        * Cops: Elgin man charged with murder in park stabbing
        * Cardinal: Closing 7 schools unavoidable in cash-strapped district


        * Authorities: Springfield Woman's BAC Three Times The Legal Limit
        * 2014 Election Coverage: Citizens, here's your homework!
        * Aldermen skip chance to ask about city’s handling of police commander
        * Immigrant Rights Groups: Demand Oustrips Slots For Driver's Licenses
        * U-S Senate Candidates Differ On Ebola Response And More
        * Listen to State Week - October 24, 2014
        * A Look At Amazon's Move To Illinois
        * Bedrock 66: Charlie Parr Plays Springfield Friday
        * What's New With The Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony? Quite A Lot
        * Digging up the history of a Civil War camp on Chicago's South Side


        * Eugene Robinson: Ben Bradlee and the whole story
        * George Will: In Georgia, a capitalist struggles
        * Richard Dye and Richard Winkel Jr: Illinois’ fiscal situation is worse than you know or candidates will admit
        * Steve Herr: Benedictine in the administrative age
        * Quote of the Day: Thursday, Oct. 30
        * On Lincoln’s Side: A Just Pardon
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Bell accuses Scherer of ‘illegally’ taking tax break while he got same exemption
        * Judge denies ex-representative new bribery trial
        * Bill Edley: Will history repeat itself in the 17th?
        * Michael Gerson: A matter of ends


        * Temperatures taking a scary turn
        * Police wonder: Why is this many giving out money to metro-east children?
        * Clerk and sheriff seats contested in Saline County
        * Illinois bands corner
        * Jim Dey: Centennial senior keeps eye on master goal
        * Stars will guide Santa's sleigh in Parkland weekend event
        * Film capsules, Oct. 30, 2014
        * Marijuana policies are the problem
        * Entertainment listings, Oct. 30-Nov. 6, 2014
        * Clubs listings, Oct. 30-Nov. 6, 2014


        * Hancock to share life lessons in Naperville
        * Suge Knight, Katt Williams charged with robbery
        * Orson Welles' last film may finally be released
        * Residents want traffic light along Route 58 in Elgin
        * Harper College fire science instructor stepping down after 42 years

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Dems rush to save suddenly vulnerable incu......
        * DCCC Head, Rep. Steve Israel: ‘We’re In Tr......
        * DCCC Head, Rep. Steve Israel: ‘We’re In Tr......
        * Durbin, Oberweis discuss NFL, space travel......
        * Durbin, Oberweis discuss NFL, space travel......

        * Hearing on ISIS's Atrocities Against Women......

        * Boo! Chicago Center for Green Technology closes
        * Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow
        * Many Questions But Few Answers At Red Light Camera Hearings
        * Protestors Shutdown Wicker Park Intersection Tuesday Night
        * Have gift cards replaced turkeys as 21st Century preference for buying a vote?
        * The Off-Year Infections
        * Facebook To Hold Q&As With Illinois Gubernatorial Candidates
        * Facebook To Host Q&As With Illinois Gubernatorial Candidates
        * Report: Emanuel's $13 Minimum Wage Plan Would 'Shortchange' Women, Minority Workers
        * Waukegan and Hinsdale.


        * Another Democrat Runs Away From Pat Quinn
        * Quinn on buying votes with taxpayer money: “Is that a crime?”
        * Editorial: Ebola politics and health practices
        * Governor Pat Quinn Directs State Education Chief to Help Reach Resolution in Waukegan Local Teachers' Strike
        * Governor Quinn Announces Cronus Has Chosen Illinois for New $1.4 Billion Fertilizer Plant - Major Expansion Project to Create Thousands of Jobs in Central Illinois




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller