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EFAB wants to increase K-12 spending by $4.6 billion

Thursday, Dec 22, 2016

* Press release…

Education Funding Advisory Board implores General Assembly and Governor to end State’s failure to adequately fund public education

EFAB recommends raising per-pupil Foundation Level to $9,204

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Education Funding Advisory Board (EFAB) today submitted its regular biennial education funding recommendations to the Illinois General Assembly, in accordance with the Illinois School Code. In its report, EFAB recommends increasing the statutory per-pupil Foundation Level from the current amount of $6,119 to $9,204 for fiscal year 2018. The Foundation Level establishes the mandated minimum per-pupil funding achieved through a mix of state and local funds. Statute requires the State to provide school districts with the difference between the Foundation Level and a district’s local wealth, as calculated by the equalization Formula Grant, in addition to providing the Supplemental Low-Income Grant, based on a district’s percentage of low-income students.

As stated in the report, in 11 of the past 15 years, the State has not met its statutory obligation to fully fund the Foundation Level and the components of the low-income grant, resulting in the State prorating or paying only a portion of the amount owed to districts through their General State Aid claims.

“EFAB renews its commitment to advocating for the state to end its failure to meet its constitutional responsibilities to adequately fund public education,” said Board Chair Sylvia Puente, echoing statements made by EFAB in its report. “Increasing funding for basic education in Illinois will be a challenge, but it is a challenge we ask every policymaker and citizen to embrace. The children of Illinois deserve no less. We ask our policymakers to note that in each of the years that the state has failed to meet its obligations, school districts must continue to meet all of the statutory requirements imposed upon them. This situation should not be allowed to continue.”

EFAB’s recommended increase to the Foundation Level would require $4.6 billion in additional funding in fiscal year 2018, or almost double the current appropriation for public education.

In its report, EFAB acknowledges the efforts of both the General Assembly and Governor Rauner to increase funding in both FY 2016 and FY 2017 and to revise how the state sends funding to districts; yet, EFAB also implores the General Assembly and the Governor to work together to increase the resources available for public education, in order to offer Illinois children the tools they deserve and need to compete in a global economy. The General Assembly and the Governor last adopted the EFAB recommendation in FY 2002. Since then, the increases in the Foundation Level have failed to keep pace with EFAB recommendations. The current Foundation Level of $6,119 has remained the same since FY 2010.

Current members of the Education Funding Advisory Board include Sylvia Puente (executive director of the Latino Policy Forum; Chicago), Sheila Harrison-Williams (superintendent of Hazel Crest School District 152.5; Hazel Crest), Cinda Klickna (president of the Illinois Education Association; Springfield), and Daniel Montgomery (president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers; Westmont). The Board has one vacancy.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 12:18 pm:

    That’s serious money.

  2. - Slugger O'Toole - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 12:25 pm:

    I volunteer to fill the vacancy in an effort to reel this group in. That is some sick money thrown at a largely flawed system.

  3. - m - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 12:25 pm:

    If the state had the money and paid the efab amount, there wouldn’t be a debate over school funding reform right now.

    How we fund schools is a big deal because there isn’t enough money to go around, so everyone is fighting over the scraps.

    If you add $3k to the foundation number, any non-alternative formula school is going to see a bump of $300k per 100 students. That fixes a lot of problems.

    It’s fun to dream.

  4. - A Jack - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 12:33 pm:

    For a class of 15 students that would be $138k or enough to pay about three teachers for the year, so it might be reasonable. Although I doubt the state can fund that much right now.

  5. - Cadillac - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 12:46 pm:

    === - A Jack - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 12:33 pm:

    For a class of 15 students that would be $138k or enough to pay about three teachers for the year, so it might be reasonable. ===

    You need 3 teachers for a class of 15 students? Wat?

  6. - Small town taxpayer - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 1:03 pm:

    === for a class of 15 students that would be $138k or enough to pay about three teachers for a year===

    According to the Illinois State Board of Education 2016 report card, for the state as a whole, the average class size is 20 students and the average pay is $63,450 per teacher. That works out to a proposed $184k in state funding per student or the salary of 2.9 teachers.

    Considering the unfunded pension debt, much of which is payable to teachers, and the billions of dollars of unpaid bills for other past delivery of goods and services, any increase of funding for K-12 education is unrealistic at the current time.

  7. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 1:04 pm:

    If this isn’t tied to property freezes it’s a no-go. The public will scream.

  8. - Diogenes in DuPage - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 1:22 pm:

    EFAB has existed for many years. Illinois has never come anywhere close to their recommended foundation level.
    Lower the state income tax rate, prorate K-12 appropriations, prorate mandated categorical payments, pay all appropriations six to nine months late, welch on your pension contributions, add more mandated services / programs, have a stagnant economy add more low income students to the rolls (all over the last ten years alone) — can imagine why so many districts are having financial problems. /s

  9. - Diogenes in DuPage - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 1:24 pm:

    …. can’t imagine why ….

  10. - DuPage - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 1:31 pm:

    Cook county and the city of Chicago have lower assessments and lower school taxes then the rest of the state. They keep their local taxes low, so they get higher amounts of state money. Cook county and Chicago need to raise their own assessments and tax rates to equal the rest of the state first, then let’s look at how the state funding is divided up.

  11. - Winnin' - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 1:32 pm:

    There is no such thing as ‘enough’ for these folks.

  12. - Sir Reel - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 2:20 pm:

    When pigs fly.

    Seriously, if the EFAB has been around for years, recommending foundation levels that the State routinely ignores, why does it exist?

  13. - Juice - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 2:26 pm:

    DuPage, that is neither an accurate description of how the Cook County Property tax system works nor how the school funding formula works.

    Residential owners pay taxes on approximately 27% of the market value of their property (compared to 33%), but businesses end up paying taxes on approximately 65% of their market value, far higher than everywhere else in the State. Some of the south suburbs also happen to have some of the highest tax rates in the State (and probably the country), so low rates throughout all of Cook is simply not true.

    And the GSA formula assumes all districts are using the same tax rate based on the type of district that they are (3% for unit districts). So how much a district actually receives from property taxes doesn’t impact how much they get from the State.

  14. - A Jack - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 2:33 pm:

    Besides the home room teacher, there are a lot of specialized teachers, music, art, librarian, gym, computer, to name a few. Those teachers are shared, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it came out to about three teachers per class. Then you have all the other staff such as cafeteria people and maintenance. And of course you got to have heat in the winter and A/C in the late summer. So it all adds up.

    However, if you don’t have kids in school, I can see why you might balk at paying for all that, especially with high property taxes.

  15. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 3:02 pm:

    Sir - when I looked at the membership of EFAC that gave me pause and it makes me wonder if that gives others pause as well. There is not a lot of diversity in thought and approach.

  16. - City Zen - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 4:24 pm:

    ==I volunteer to fill the vacancy in an effort to reel this group in.==

    You’ll need some high grade fishing line. 3 of the 4 members of that group make over $200,000 per year.

  17. - JS Mill - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 4:24 pm:

    =. So how much a district actually receives from property taxes doesn’t impact how much they get from the State.=

    Actually, that isn’t correct. Local capacity is a factor in the GSA formula and a big one at that. Local EAV, Poverty Concentration, Povert Enrollment, CPPRT, and Average Daily Attendance are the other important factors in the GSA formula.

  18. - Juice - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 4:37 pm:

    JS Mill, but local capacity is based on EAV within the district and an assumed tax rate versus the actual tax rate. (Plus CPPRT)

    In other words, GSA takes into account capacity, but not actual effort.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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