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Illinois schools superintendent to recommend $7.2 billion state funding hike

Tuesday, Jan 16, 2018

* From the CEO of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials…


* From the ISBE

The design of [Evidence-Based Funding] is to calculate an individual Adequacy Target for each Organizational Unit in the state. (In most cases, “Organizational Unit” refers to school districts.) That Adequacy Target is based on 34 individual cost factors, which include additional supports based on Organizational Units’ populations of low-income children and English Learners. Additional supports for students with special needs are provided based on the overall enrollment of the Organizational Unit. These students and their needs are further protected by the statutory requirement that each Organizational Unit provide a spending plan for the EBF it receives with specific detail regarding the expenditure of funds attributable to low-income children, students with special needs, and English Learners.

EBF has provided a more equitable distribution formula and a path toward adequacy. The fact remains that the primary funding source for education in the State of Illinois is the property tax system. At this point in time, the state has not fulfilled its constitutional mandate to assume the primary responsibility for financing the system of public education. Without that commitment from the state, there is a wide variance in what school districts can commit locally, with an inequitable result for students. As previously stated, preliminary Adequacy Target calculations show that Organizational Units in Illinois range from having 46 percent to having 284 percent of the resources necessary to provide a quality education to students. Federal funds support our highest-needs children and families and on average make up 10 percent of funds provided to districts, so we believe “primary responsibility” constitutes ensuring that every district can meet at least 90 percent of its individual Adequacy Target through a combination of state and local funding support.

The Superintendent is recommending $13,884,200,000 for FY 2019 to meet this 90 percent threshold and ensure adequate supports for all children in the State of Illinois based upon the singular definition of adequacy provided for in statute. The recommended appropriation level is preliminary and will be refined when FY 2018 EBF calculations are finalized later in the spring.

* Meanwhile, over in higher education

A rift has emerged as education leaders debate how aggressively to push lawmakers for state aid. At the heart of the issue is how to finance the state’s public universities following two years of almost non-existent state funding.

Presidents of the state’s nine public universities wrote a letter openly opposing the budget that the state higher education board presented at its meeting in December. In unusually blunt terms, the presidents told the board its request to state lawmakers was too conservative and would “place further burdens on public universities” after “two years of financial calamity.” […]

The [Illinois Board of Higher Education’s] funding proposal seeks about $3.47 billion for public universities, community colleges, grants and various higher education divisions for 2018-19. It would be a $254 million increase over current funding, according to the board report.

The share for public universities would be a little more than $1.1 billion, a $24.1 million increase from this year.

That isn’t enough for the school presidents. They want the board to request $1.2 billion from the state, matching the allocation for public universities in 2015, the last year there was a budget before the impasse began.

* Finke on Gov. Rauner’s pledge to balance the budget and roll back the tax hike

“We will introduce a plan to repeal the Madigan tax hike and require the budget to be truly balanced. No balanced budget — no pay for legislators,” said another Twitter entry.

If this is going to be a legitimate effort at repealing last summer’s income tax hike, then Rauner will include in his plan just how the state will cope with that loss in revenue. One way would be to once again let the bill backlog balloon to ridiculous amounts and put the state’s bond rating in jeopardy. That’s probably not the preferable approach, which makes it essential for the person or persons who propose getting rid of the tax hike to explain how the state will deal with it.

Somehow, though, that never seems to be part of the proposal.

The first six months of the state’s fiscal year are in the books and guess what? Income tax collections are up by about $2.2 billion over a year ago. As well they should be, given the income tax increase passed in July.

Plus, the amount of money from the feds grew by $2.5 billion because the state borrowed money and paid off Medicaid bills with it.

Still, the bill backlog was at $8.75 billion as of Friday. Worth remembering as the campaign season heats up and more people call for cutting state taxes.

Gonna be tough enough to do all that even without the aforementioned public pressures to increase spending.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    To the higher ed angle of the Post,

    The presidents of the universities… the ones that actually know… they begin and end the discussion, their frustrations, their actual real math issues… to the budgets of 2 years ago…

    The lacking of funding, if we’re being honest, that Rauner purposely drone as the outcome with vetoes of two consecutive full budgets for higher education.

    Not “years and years”, not “decades”….

    … the two specific years without full year funding.

    That’s on the failed governor, Bruce Rauner, as specifically pointed out, by date and timeline.


  2. - I wonder - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    Have any of you ever asked why schools need more money have you ever asked where the money is going how about the superintendents have you ever seen how much a superintendent makes

  3. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 10:55 am:

    In this School board members opinion, we’ll see this much money when pigs fly.

  4. - Roman - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 11:05 am:

    I’m all for more state support for education, but it’s irresponsible to ask for those kind of dollars without proposing how to pay for it. Ferry dust, anyone?

  5. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    Your check is in the mail!

  6. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 11:13 am:

    ==without proposing how to pay for it.==

    That’s not their job. Their job is to determine how much money they think they need.

    ==have you ever seen how much a superintendent makes==

    That’s such a red herring in the school funding debate.

  7. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 11:26 am:

    ===Have any of you ever asked why schools need more money have you ever asked where the money is going how about the superintendents have you ever seen how much a superintendent makes===

    Well-funded schools are better equipped to teach things such as punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, etc.

  8. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 11:42 am:

    The best path to reducing property taxes is adequate state funding. If the state ever pays its share most schools boards will be able to reduce their levies…

  9. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 11:50 am:

    Woof, Meeks and Smith got off the milk carton with a vengeance the last few days.

    Last Friday they called out Rauner for the chaos of amendatorily vetoing his own trailer bill, now this.

  10. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 12:12 pm:

    Hell, let’s make it an even trillion

  11. - walker - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 12:34 pm:

    It’s good to put real numbers on what are in essence ideal demands.

    We should require that with all political stances on “balanced budgets,” “tax cuts,” “pension solutions,” “social services,” etc.

    Put our money where your mouth is.

  12. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 12:58 pm:

    We can’t do much of anything in this state except work to pay off that pension debt.

  13. - Dan Johnson - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 1:11 pm:

    Imagine if we pulled all education employees — K-12 and higher education — into one big health insurance pool. We could negotiate directly with providers to drive down costs.

  14. - Sue - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 1:13 pm:

    The ISBE number includes pension funding. And you wonder why they want more money 💰

  15. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 1:38 pm:

    Yeah Sue. Paying the bills that are due is a bummer isn’t it?

  16. - Sue - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 2:06 pm:

    Demoralized- you are like a troll. Do you receive an alert when I come on board? All I said is the school request includes TRS funding so of course Tony requested more money

  17. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 2:10 pm:

    The ISBE budget doesn’t include TRS funding. Most of the increase requested is to fund the new formula.

  18. - Sue - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 2:40 pm:

    Sorry D. The ISBE budget absolutely includes TRS funding submitted annually by the TRS board upon receipt and submission of the annual actuarial report

  19. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 2:41 pm:

    Umm, no it doesn’t.

  20. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 2:48 pm:

    Pretending like a 4.95% fat income tax rate is enough to fund the government is hilarious.

    Come spend some time down in Mounds or Cairo and look at the cycles of poverty created by this state’s unwillingness to fully fund education.

  21. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 3:48 pm:

    ==Pretending like a 4.95% fat income tax rate is enough to fund the government is hilarious.==

    Live at Zanies: Colorado - The Great Pretender

  22. - NorthsideNoMore - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 3:52 pm:

    So you’re saying there wont be a property tax freeze? Any one see teacher salary comparisons couched next to the Midwest states taxes. Would be interesting read if nothing else. My guess at least 65% of that gajillion would go to salaries No?

  23. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 4:09 pm:

    ==would go to salaries==

    As opposed to going where?

  24. - Jones - Tuesday, Jan 16, 18 @ 5:45 pm:

    Anywhere but salaries. The teachers are paid more than adequately already.

  25. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jan 17, 18 @ 7:34 am:

    ==The teachers are paid more than adequately already.==

    Really? According to who? You? Do tell us what is “adequate” in your mind. I really love it when people complain about what someone else makes.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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