school funding

CARTER STALEY / NPR ILLINOIS

The Illinois State Board of Education voted unanimously to ask the General Assembly to practically double state funding for public schools.

Last summer, the legislature voted to change the way Illinois funds schools by adopting what's called an “evidence-based model.” That model weighs what each district needs against its local resources. As it turns out, some districts can't achieve even 50 percent of adequate funding, while others have almost three times what they need.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner has boasted that fixing the woefully inequitable Illinois school-funding formula was his top accomplishment of the past year.

Latest School Funding Deal Fails In Illinois House Vote

Aug 28, 2017
state of Illinois

An education funding overhaul failed in the Illinois House, leaving money for more than 800 districts uncertain.

The legislation filed Monday provides a tax credit worth 75 percent of a taxpayer's annual contributions to a scholarship fund, with a maximum credit of $1 million annually. The money may be donated to a specific school, but not to a specific student. 

Students receiving the scholarships must have a total household income of less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level. 

Teacher unions oppose the tax credit.  

   

Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza said it's likely she will have to skip another payment to the state’s public school districts as the result of a political fight between Democrats in the legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Mendoza said schools are expecting another payment from the state on Sunday.

"Every single child across the state of Illinois is being attacked right now because of nonsensical politics at play from Governor Rauner," Mendoza said.

Schools are not receiving state money while elected officials debate how best to distribute state money.

Daisy Contreras/NPR Illinois

The Illinois State Senate spent Sunday in session, where Senators voted 38 to 19 to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's amendatory veto of the new school funding bill.

The override wasn't a surprise, because this new evidence-based funding plan originally had cleared the Senate with a veto-proof majority. The House, however, represents a higher hurdle, where Democrats will need Republicans to vote with them. That vote is scheduled Wednesday.

Sen. Andy Manar, the Bunker Hill Democrat who sponsored the measure, says he'd rather negotiate a compromise.

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