school funding

Illinois lawmakers are also considering proposals to rewrite the way the state funds public schools. 

Marguerite Roza directs the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University.

Roza gave the State School Board two keys for a good funding formula: Keep it generic, and tie every dollar to students instead of programs.

Board members plan to discuss Roza’s recommendations at their meeting next month. 

A new plan to change the school funding formula is emerging in the legislature. Jason Barickman, a Republican state senator from Bloomington, plans to introduce a bill, which he believes will be supported by Governor Bruce Rauner.

“Think about something else he said yesterday, in the context of his criminal justice reforms. In announcing those reforms, the governor embraced an evidence-based model, and that’s what this is.”

Flickr user / alamosbasement "old school" (CC BY 2.0)

It'll take until mid-May -- as the legislative session is drawing to a close -- to learn which schools will win, and which will lose, under a proposed new way to fund education in Illinois.

The effort to change how Illinois decides how much state money it gives each district is rooted in the belief that the current formula is outdated, and that it helps perpetuate disparities between schools in wealthy areas and poor ones.

The proposed new method would make funding determinations based on need.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

School superintendents in Illinois are getting a chance to weigh in on what could be a huge change in the state’s public school funding formula. 

Republicans Criticize "Rushed" School Funding Overhaul

Apr 11, 2014
state of Illinois

A proposal to overhaul the way Illinois schools get state funding is advancing in the state Senate. Republicans say the plan is being rushed through the General Assembly, and they are worried that Chicago schools will get an even bigger share of the money than they do now.

Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, has made it his mission to change the way schools are funded in Illinois. The freshman senator says it's long overdue because there's been no change in 17 years.

Susan Stephens/Roberta F / Creative Commons

The Illinois State Board of Education is warning school districts to prepare to make due with less next fiscal year.