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.

* Caption contest!
* Sorry to see him go, happy to see the other guy leave
* "Unclear" on the concept
* A complete leadership stalemate
* Behind the impasse
* Report: Child care more expensive than state university tuition
* We're not exactly Old Faithful here
* Good morning!
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* 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

    * Watch Microsoft’s Hardware Event Live Right Here
    * Start your journey to become an Android dev for free [DEALS]
    * Twitter Launches 'Moments' to Discover Trending Stories
    * Twitter debuts Moments, bringing you the world of what’s happening at a glance
    * Amazon expands its Prime Now coverage in London
    * iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, Smart Keyboard most likely due out in early November
    * Russian FAS: Google violated the law, stop bundling by Nov 18

    * Hawk Harrelson's reduced schedule creates opportunity for White Sox...
    * Holliday, Ventura connection goes way back
    * 2015 in 3 words: Sale, Abreu, inconsistency
    * Hawk cutting '16 broadcast schedule
    * Podcast: Shifting the target
    * White Sox face toll of three losing seasons
    * Montas solid, but offense silenced in finale


    Main Menu
    Pundit rankings
    Subscriber Content
    Blagojevich Trial
    Updated Posts

    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


    * EXCHANGE: Nachusa Grasslands plans to add bison this fall
    * Route 66 Museum to hold auction in Springfield
    * Suburban college recognized for campus safety efforts
    * Metra installs charging stations downtown Chicago
    * Police superintendent to face alderman demanding his firing
    * Terrorism suspect due in court for 2nd straight day
    * Chicago aldermen demand firing of police superintendent
    * Verizon moving center to Rolling Meadows, adding 200 jobs
    * Report shows steep increase in Indiana homeless students
    * Illinois to implement new ratings for schools, districts

    * Chancellor Koch: Budget pressures growing for UIS, other schools
    * Illinois to implement new ratings for schools, districts
    * Budget impasse cuts services for domestic abuse victims
    * Weaver tapped to replace LaHood in Illinois Senate
    * Peoria city councilman tapped to replace Darin LaHood in Illinois Senate
    * Illinois budget impasse affecting emergency call systems
    * Legal marijuana stirs hope in southern Illinois town
    * Statehouse Insider: We have a problem. Is anyone there?
    * AP Exclusive: Legal marijuana stirs hope in southern Illinois town
    * Gov. Rauner: Illinois budget standoff 'could go on for a while'

    * AmerisourceBergen buying PharMEDium for $2.58 billion
    * SABMiller rejects AB InBev's offer
    * Chicago Architecture Biennial inspires Perkins + Will design contest
    * Don't get your hopes up, would-be O'Hare Airport vendors
    * Former Motorola president becomes head of DuPont

    * Wright house aimed at wider audience rediscovered in Madison
    * 'Someone yelled out, Get the other gun'
    * Overdose medication naloxone saving lives during tainted heroin crisis
    * Search for your CPS school: Enrollment changes and budget consequences
    * 3 men, 16-year-old boy wounded in shootings in Chicago
    * Morning Spin: McCarthy expected to face City Council critics
    * Man dead, 2 injured in Arlington Heights fire
    * Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to face aldermen demanding his firing
    * Suit blames automaker for deaths of Highland Park couple after keyless car left running
    * College of DuPage to reopen Tuesday after bomb threat leads to canceled classes

    * Kathleen Parker: The GOP’s (New) McCarthyism
    * Clark Bullard: Unclear if CWLP’s proposed rate changes are fair
    * Chancellor Koch: Budget pressures growing for UIS, other schools
    * Illinois to implement new ratings for schools, districts
    * Paul Findley: Boehner deserves souvenir from Pope's visit
    * Budget impasse cuts services for domestic abuse victims
    * Weaver tapped to replace LaHood in Illinois Senate
    * Illinois budget impasse affecting emergency call systems
    * Legal marijuana stirs hope in southern Illinois town
    * Bernard Schoenburg: An added loss for workers at Illinois State Museum

    * Podcast: State Treasurer Mike Ferrichs 10-6-15
    * To Your Health: Generic, name brands separated only by cost
    * This day in history, Oct. 6, 2015
    * Board has its hands full
    * Oakwood expands fund drive for breast cancer research, relief
    * Spotlight on Service, Oct. 6, 2015
    * Here's a look at Salaita's new book
    * C-U yard waste pickup schedules
    * Area history, Oct. 6, 2015
    * Friends join forces to harvest fields after farmer's death

    * One killed, two injured in Arlington Heights house fire
    * Leonard Fournette shares 4th straight LSWA honor
    * Stats show 'icing' kickers has been more effective this year
    * VW employee chief: no immediate effect on jobs from scandal
    * Kristufek's Hawthorne selections for Tuesday's races

    * 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

    * The Prison Reform Issue That Has Foes Unit......
    * Durbin Says NRA's Influence in Washington ......
    * Durbin Talks Gun Control - Alton Daily News...

    * Cubs in wild-card against Pirates: Sen. Ma......

    * Brendan O'Brien fundraiser and petition party October 23
    * McHenry teachers are still out. A rare part of collective bargaining.
    * Balich: Republicans Are United ... Against Jeb Bush
    * Beth Dimino gives John King an earful. 
    * Chicago students walk out. “This is your building. They can’t do this to you,” says their teacher, Tim Meegan.
    * I can't wait to see the debate on this...
    * Republicans, start your engines: Vacancy opens in 13th Subcircuit
    * “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
    * Thieves Target Wheels Of Expensive SUVs In Lincoln Park
    * Could Illinois be the example of rational political thought after all?

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