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Today’s number: 44 cents

Wednesday, Apr 2, 2014

* From a press release…

Earlier this year, a bipartisan State Senate committee, created by State Senator Andy Manar (D–Bunker Hill), issued a report acknowledging Illinois’ outdated school funding system and recommending changes be made to the system to better reflect students’ needs.

On Wednesday, Manar, along with other Senate Democrats, introduced the School Funding Reform Act of 2014, a proposal to streamline the current hodgepodge of funding sources into one funding formula that would account for school districts’ funding needs.

“Illinois has the second-most inequitable school funding system in the nation. Our current funding system is doing a disservice to taxpayers, school districts and, most importantly, our children,” Manar said. “The funding system we are proposing will better address student needs, such as socio-economic background, language ability or special learning needs, while also accounting for a school district’s ability to raise funds locally.”

The current funding formula, unchanged since 1997, only distributes 44 cents for every $1 invested in education on the basis of district need. The other 56 cents is distributed to schools through archaic and complicated grants, not based on need.

Under the new funding system, 92 cents of every $1 invested by the State in the K-12 education system, with the exception of funds for early childhood education, construction projects and high-cost special education, would flow through a single funding formula that provides a simple, straight-forward and equitable means to distribute education funds for Illinois school districts.

According to Manar, the new formula would also increase stability and transparency regarding how much state money is provided, how it gets to school districts and how it is spent.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


19 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    Kind of curious (for selfish reasons) if it includes capital debt due to construction…


  2. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    Kudos to Manar.

    I may wind up disagreeing with the direction he is leading on this subject, but at least he is leading on it.

    Dear Springfield: More like this, please.


  3. - Nearly Normal - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    So, who’s on first in regards to inequitable funding for schools?


  4. - Roadiepig - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    Sounds like a decent start- we should be ashamed at the hodgepodge manner that we distribute state dollars to our schools. I am sure some will dislike Manar’s idea (probably due to their own level of disbursement dropping), but it’s a funding system in need of repairs. This is a good place to start.


  5. - fed up - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    would have to see his so called formula before supporting this. Interesting he doesnt share his formula


  6. - Seriously - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    Much of the 56 cent amount is reimbursement for mandated programs that simply funnel money to districts (normally in a pro-rated amount) for mandated programs like special education, etc…… The real story is how mandates have gobbled away at available resources to fund education


  7. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    Look forward to reading more details. I’m not a Dem, but Manar is impressive. Madigan maybe could save himself a whole lot of dough if he could have Manar teach that awful Sue Scherer how to effectively represent constituents, rather than just propping her up to barely survive every two years. Hard to imagine they occupy the same legislative district.


  8. - RNUG - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    - Nearly Normal - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    This is Illinois. What (my district is going to get in special grants) is on first …


  9. - cicero - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    The second-most inequitable. That’s not just shameful, but it conflicts with our state constitution, the preamble of which states:

    “We the People of the State of Illinois…in order to…eliminate poverty and inequality; assure legal, social and economic justice; provide opportunity for the fullest development of the individual; do ordain and establish this Constitution for the State of Illinois.”


  10. - Linus - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    - Interesting he doesnt share his formula -

    Details are right there on the interwebs, for anyone to see, in amendment 1 to SB16:

    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/98/SB/PDF/09800SB0016sam001.pdf


  11. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:14 pm:

    ====Earlier this year, a bipartisan State Senate committee, created by State Senator Andy Manar (D–Bunker Hill), issued a report acknowledging Illinois’ outdated school funding system and recommending changes be made to the system to better reflect students’ needs.====

    Wordslinger and O Willie, Looks like this dope agrees with what I’ve been saying. Perhaps this is the better way to say “Start with the students and work your way up”. I hope this committee succeeds. I honestly don’t care who or what party get the credit for fixing the most discriminatory practice in the State of Illinois; Education funding.


  12. - Rayne of Terror - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    Vince is smiling down from heaven on Andy.


  13. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 2:48 pm:

    ==Details are right there on the interwebs, for anyone to see, in amendment 1 to SB16:

    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/98/SB/PDF/09800SB0016sam001.pdf==

    GOPers will be against this, it’s over 3 pages!


  14. - archimedes - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 3:17 pm:

    OK - fund on the basis of need, but then cut out any mandates that you no longer fund. Such as Transportation and Driver Ed. Let the local District determine if they will offer these and to what extent. The local voter/taxpayer can accept or pony up the bucks.

    My guess is a big component of this will be the poverty grant that is built into the General State Aid formula. All Districts get the same amount per child that meet the poverty criteria, regardless of their general wealth.


  15. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 3:25 pm:

    Is the current funding scheme accidental (ie gradual)? Who benefits from the current scheme?

    Since I suspect the current system has it’s supporters (constituency), I believe it will be very difficult to change it. Once roused, the constituency will likely proclaim that any changes would “hurt the children”.

    Good luck with that.


  16. - Commander Norton - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 3:38 pm:

    Yep, the formula isn’t a big secret. It’s just complicated - as any education funding formula that makes sense for a wide variety of districts is inevitably going to be. It doesn’t quite fit in a press release.

    The big question is which districts will win and which will lose. It’s a matter of doing the math. At least there’s hold-harmless funding to smooth the four-year transition. That should make this proposal more viable.


  17. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    Our school districts get little funding , but many demands from the state


  18. - Under Influenced - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 5:41 pm:

    ==I hope this committee succeeds.==

    Committee is finished and already filed the report.

    http://educationfundingreform.com/images/EFAC_Final_Report.pdf

    This bill is based off that report.


  19. - Hit or Miss - Wednesday, Apr 2, 14 @ 6:32 pm:

    If the proposed change in the funding plan is implemented as proposed what effect will it have on the educational outcomes? Are there any numbers on that?


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