SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Not soup yet

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

* Call it a good start

A change to the way the state doles out school funding passed in the Senate today, but a House floor vote on the bill is not expected before session is scheduled to adjourn later this week.

Sen. Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat, sponsored Senate Bill 16, which supporters say could make school funding for poor communities more equalized to wealthier communities. A Senate committee spent months evaluating the current funding formula after questions arose about drastic disparities between schools throughout the state. The plan would put more of the money the state sends to local school districts through a filter that would weight funding more heavily toward factors such as whether students live in poverty or are bilingual learners. It would also consider the need of local districts that have less affluent property tax bases for local funding. “Will there be winners and losers under a new funding formula? Absolutely. But those winners and losers will be based on need and resources and not what their zip code is,” said Democratic Sen. John Sullivan of Rushville. “We’ve all said that around here for years that it ought to be based on not where you live, but what resources you have, and Senate Bill 16 addresses that.” […]

Lawmakers agreed that the state’s education funding formula needs to be changed, but Republicans questioned whether this legislation is the right way to go. Manar said when asked of the debate, “I was quite shocked at their defense of the status quo at the debate and it’s as if (Republicans) are immune or numb to the reality of what is going on in the state today. There’s no reason to pause, there’s no reason.” […]

The legislation would not take effect until July of 2015 and would allow a phase in period to let schools adjust to the newly proposed funding formula.

There is a reason to pause. Even Manar admitted that the bill wasn’t quite soup yet.

* More

Some Republicans added they would have to vote against the bill out of principle, even though it helped their district, because they wanted to make sure that the state maintained a minimum amount of spending per student, or a “foundation level.”

“If you look at the winners and losers list for this bill, my district wins, my schools would get more money almost uniformly,” said state Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon. “There are times when we act focused solely on our districts and then there are times when we act focused more broadly on what the policy is statewide and what the long term policy is…. If this bill becomes law the one objective measuring stick that we have to say that we are funding to the degree that we said we would will be change dramatically, that is the foundation level. The $6,119 per child that this General Assembly and this Governor have said is the absolute minimum a child can spend in these schools and give them an adequate education… is no longer locked in statute.”

* But the sole Republican vote for the bill explained why that foundation argument doesn’t really hold up. From a press release…

“The current formula is out of touch with current fiscal realities and it creates major disparities throughout the state,” said Senator Sam McCann.

One of the major issues identified in the Senate GOP report was that state dollars have been redirected from the basic foundation formula grant, which was established to ensure all students are guaranteed a minimum level of funding.

“Senate Bill 16 reprioritizes state education funding by focusing funding priorities on need,” said McCann. “This means our poorest districts, the ones who rely the heaviest on state dollars, will see increases in funding. This is the way it should be.”

SB16 will slowly implement increases or decreases in funding over a period of three years. Currently, Senator McCann is finalizing the details of new legislation which would require the state to fully fund the formula, whether it’s the current formula, or the new system laid out by SB16. In recent years, the state has been paying less than 90% of the recommended level.

* More

Under Manar’s bill, the state would send districts money based primarily on need.

Many collar counties would take a hit if the bill becomes law. In hopes to lessen the negative impact on districts, Manar has capped the amount of money a school district can “lose” in the matter at $1,000 per pupil.

* But some aren’t convinced

“Poverty disparity is widened by this,” said state Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine. “Current law is $3,000 dollars per poor kid in a high density poverty area, it’s $314 in a low poverty area. Under this bill it goes up to $4,800 all the way down to $12… That great school district in that rich area I live in has 31 percent poverty—we get $12 a kid for everything [in taxes] we send out.”

That school district Murph spoke of had cash reserves of over $148 million in 2012. They built that gigantic reserve by over-taxing by about $10.6 million each year.

* And, of course “Chicago“…

“The problem is the disproportionate funding that goes to one district… that benefits one district at the expense of every other student and child throughout this state,” said state Sen. Jason Barrickman, R-Bloomington, talking about the Chicago Block Grant.

The block grant is eliminated by this bill.

* One more link

Manar added several amendments to his bill. They include giving more weight to at-risk students, capping the amount of money a district could lose per student, and funding early childhood programs, special education, and transportation.

One amendment that got left off the list was a proposal to allow schools to opt out of dozens of mandates, from teaching drivers ed to black history. Some senators thought that belonged in a separate bill.

Like I said, it ain’t soup yet.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - From the 'Dale to HP - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    ==“The problem is the disproportionate funding that goes to one district… that benefits one district at the expense of every other student and child throughout this state,” said state Sen. Jason Barrickman==

    Only if you ignore pension payments. But details…

  2. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    Kudos to Senator Manar for tackling this thorny issue.

    With all due respect, Senator Righter is full of it.

    Republicans universally oppose new revenue, yet they argue that the state ought to be funding the basic cost of education for every child in the state, even those in Kennilworth?

    Kind of a universal safety net for education?

    Um, okay: your party is fundamentally opposed to a universal safety net for health care or retirement, but suddenly you are converts when it comes to education?

    I call “Shenanigans.”

    And with all due respect to Madigan: I know you have a lot of targets in the suburbs. Let them vote No, but advance the bill.

    This measure is essentially same in its effect as the Edgar Plan.

    It follows a long held principle of the Democratic Party:

    “Government should look out for the little fish because the big fish can look out for themselves.”

  3. - Befuddled - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    Correction: The block grant is not eliminated by that bill. The Early Childhood Block Grant for Chicago remains in place. The Special Ed Block Grant for Chicago has key components remaining in place in SB 16. Only a portion of one of the two block grants is eliminated.

  4. - Porter McNeil - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    Congrats to Senator Manar for generating a new proposal that will advance this important discussion statewide.

  5. - Tom H. - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    That’s a bad “no” vote for a lot of the downstate Republicans. Their Chicago bashing could get turned around on them next election. Afterall, they voted down new cash for their schools and to preserve a system that sends a lot of funding to the city. Barrickman in particular could have a problem. He’s probably going to get a primary challenge in two years over his same sex marriage vote. He just gave whomever that candidate is an issue that might be as damaging as gay marriage in that district.

  6. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    –That school district Murph spoke of had cash reserves of over $148 million in 2012–

    That Murphy is quite a joker.

  7. - WestEndGirl - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    Manar should get a heroism medal for pushing this issue. He handled the debate in committee and on floor masterfully.

  8. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    It’s a good idea in my book, but of course there is reason to pause.

    We are talking about overhauling the manner in which one of the largest states in the union allocates education funding. Complex issues can take time to work through, and it was only 3 weeks ago the “winners” and “losers” under this particular proposal even became apparent

  9. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    Tom H. that was an insightful comment. However, I just got an e-mail from another commenter who uses that screen name, so could you post with a different name from now on?

  10. - Wensicia - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    Get rid of all the block grants, especially special education. Many of these students have moved out of Chicago, and into the surrounding suburbs, and this deprives these districts of desperately needed funding.

  11. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    I am glad the discussion has begun. You can’t have such stark contrast of winners and losers.

  12. - Bring Back Boone's - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 4:18 pm:

    This is something that has been attempted for over three decades. I think if you’re gonna break the status quo you have to ensure that funding levels will at least stay the same for the “losers” of the bill, and that the poorer districts will get a greater state share.

    That school district Murph was speaking of also has AstroTurf on their high school football fields. That’s pretty indefensible as Rich pointed out the cash reserves.

  13. - Rod - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 4:48 pm:

    ISBE has done additional calculations on the winners and losers in relation to this bill because of the various amendments made to it. The new calculations can be seen by going to

    The Chicago Public Schools went from about a $28 million loss to about $38 million a year in the last calculation. That’s some serious money, but of course CPS is spending way more than that on its newest selective high school, the Obama Prep so it is all relative I guess.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Here we go...
* Question of the day
* Kirk's confidence
* Unclear on the concept; And pot, meet kettle
* *** UPDATED x2 *** The supreme power of video
* More lip service
* A union overreach?
* Duckworth fires back against Zopp for "cheap political" shot
* Republicans side with unions in court case
* Rauner pushes Gaming Board to back off fantasy sports site issue
* No known impact of Rauner opposition to refugees
* Benton circulating against McCann
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

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

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Here’s everything the BlackBerry Priv does to protect your security and privacy
* Motorola unveils trio of upcoming Cyber Monday deals
* Welcome the new Nokia 230 and Nokia 230 Dual SIM
* LG pulls out Watch Urbane 2nd edition due to faulty component
* NVIDIA Shield Android TV further slashed to $150 for Black Friday, remote included
* How To Choose the Best Smartphone for The Holidays
* BlackBerry Androids “wouldn’t be a once-off”

* White Sox acquire Kahnle in deal with Rockies
* White Sox acquire RHP Tommy Kahnle from Rockies for RHP Yency Almonte
* White Sox acquire Kahnle in deal with Rockies
* KBO's Jae-gyun Hwang can be posted after all
* White Sox Charities all about opportunities
* White Sox add Aaron Rowand to minor-league development staff
* White Sox tab Rowand as Minors instructor


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
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


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Illinois makes 3 new tax-break deals with compa.....
* Illinois makes 3 new tax-break deals with compa.....
* Rauner Says Homeland Security to Address Syrian.....
* Durbin Wants Rauner to Meet Some Refugees - Alt.....
* Progress on Governor's Mansion Rehab - Alton Da.....

* Man gets 16 years for sexually assaulting a woman he knew
* U of Illinois group looking for chancellor led by professor
* Illinois makes tax-break deals with 3 companies
* Suburban Chicago teacher sentenced for child pornography
* N. Illinois University removes Bibles from campus hotel
* Bridge connecting St. Louis, East St. Louis set to reopen
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Convictions upheld for man guilty of killing 5 in family
* Congressional hopeful rejected by GOP in '14 running again
* Judge rejects reinstating murder charges against mother

* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing
* Bryce Benton circulating petitions to challenge Sen. Sam McCann in GOP primary
* Executive Mansion roof repairs nearing completion
* Candidates begin filing petitions for March primary election
* Benton circulating petitions to challenge McCann in GOP primary
* Rauner administration says House Democrats holding local aid hostage
* Rauner says White House promises to answer refugee queries
* More honors for Auburn woman who saved man from train

* Release of police-shooting video ignites street protests
* Now arriving at O'Hare and Midway: Uber
* Illinois, you haven't touched bottom yet
* Chicago struggles to auction off taxi medallions
* The maker of Beanie Babies is about to air its first-ever TV ad

* Mitchell: “Hideous” video tells an even more hideous story
* Marchers protest CPD handling of Laquan McDonald’s murder
* Mihalopoulos: Laquan McDonald video could define state’s attorney’s race
* Patrick Kane’s point streak nearing historic levels
* Uber cleared to serve O’Hare, Midway airports
* McCarthy: “Nonsense” to claim his firing of Dante Servin was politically timed
* Quickie quiz: Only player to score goal at United Center, Soldier Field and Wrigley Field?
* Black Caucus chairman: What took Alvarez so long to file charges?
* Veljko Paunovic announced as new Fire coach
* Blackhawks unveil Stadium Series uniforms

* Shooting video latest stain on Chicago's policing record
* 5 shot in separate shootings on the South Side
* Release of Laquan McDonald video sends protesters onto Chicago streets
* A moment by moment account of what the Laquan McDonald video shows
* Chicago releases dash-cam video of fatal shooting after charging cop with murder

* Michael Gerson: The Trump effect, still 'understated'
* Catherine Rampell: For millennials, first comes love — then what?
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Kathleen Parker: Crazy is as crazy does
* Bryce Benton circulating petitions to challenge Sen. Sam McCann in GOP primary
* Executive Mansion roof repairs nearing completion
* Candidates begin filing petitions for March primary election

* Perfect beginning for women's hoops
* Tate: Groce up in arms about defense
* Running back commits
* Tuesday's highlights: Central's Finke falls in debut
* Richey: Illinois win was never in doubt
* UPDATED: Mahomet trustees vote to repeal video gaming ban
* Candidate filings: Dem for 13th, Rietz for fourth term
* LIVE! Tennessee State
* UI Women vs. Tennessee State
* Men's gymnasts ranked sixth

* Video shows Chicago cop shooting teen after he had fallen
* Wheeling police chief retiring; Prospect Hts. top cop to take helm
* Gurnee may lend financial hand to visitors bureau
* Mundelein trustee tells residents complaining about snow removal to 'drive less'
* Bears rookie receiver Kevin White cleared for practice

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Rauner Says Homeland Security to Address S......
* Durbin Wants Rauner to Meet Some Refugees ......

* Kirk co-authors Government Transformation ......

* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* Laquan McDonald Protesters Produce Traffic Chaos Tuesday Night
* 4635 Broadway Begins Its Renovation
* A violent overtone to this week of thanks; will it be ugly Black Friday?
* Random thoughts.
* The cover-up of the killing of Laquan McDonald.
* Tuesday filing, unfiling update
* Mid-century modern homes in Chatham
* Watch the Organization
* Kinney, Alonzo take part in recognition ceremony in San Diego

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

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