Tentative Settlement Reached On 2008 Education Funding Lawsuit

Feb 18, 2017

The Chicago Urban League and the Illinois State Board of Education have reached a tentative settlement of a lawsuit that claims discriminatory school funding.

Credit Flickr User Brent Hoard/ "ECU School of Education Class Room" (cc by 2.0)

In the settlement, the board agrees that, if appropriations for schools are inadequate, it will either cap per-pupil cuts or use another methodology to distribute funds "based on the needs of each school district and its students" instead of simply prorating the allotments.

The Urban League claimed in the lawsuit filed in 2008 that the state's funding model has a "demonstrable, disparate and adverse impact" on minority students, violating the Illinois Civil Rights Act.

The organization later moved for a partial summary judgment on their claims that the board's habit of dividing funds equally, regardless of a district's size or student population, discriminated against students based on race.

Urban League and state spokeswomen refused to discuss the settlement until the state board considers and votes on it on Wednesday.