Analysis from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) clearly shows that all local schools would receive more financial help under a recent compromise school funding bill sponsored by State Senator Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria). The legislation is designed to fix the state’s broken school aid formula and provide a more equitable system for all 852 Illinois schools. The legislation is part of the recently introduced “Capitol Compromise” aimed at breaking the budget impasse and reforming state government.
“The analysis shows that this bill is the best deal for all of our schools, without question,” said Senator Weaver. “This is focused on areas of agreement and best practices for funding our schools. This is a win for all schools.”
According to the data provided by ISBE, Senate Bill 1124 Amendment 3 would do a better job of delivering financial help to low-income students than previous legislation advanced by the General Assembly, including Senate Bill 1. In fact, though proponents of SB1 have touted financial increases for schools through tier funding, the ISBE analysis clearly shows every single school district in the state would receive more tier funding under Senate Bill 1124 as amended.
A major difference between Senate Bill 1124 SFA3 and Senate Bill 1 is how Chicago Public Schools (CPS) are treated. Both bills use the same system to establish the base funding minimum for schools, which ensures that no school would lose money. However, Democrats added hundreds of millions of dollars to the base funding minimum for CPS, money that no other school would have access to.
Governor Rauner has promised to veto SB1, referring to the massive windfall for CPS as a “bailout.” Rauner made it clear however, that he would sign SB1124 due to its more equitable and fair method for funding all schools.
“We can’t ask downstate families to be on the hook for Chicago’s financial mess, which is why SB1 is a dead end,” said Senator Weaver. “SB 1124 recognizes the challenges facing all schools, including Chicago, but helps them in the fairest way possible.”
SB1124 represents bipartisan agreement on several other issues, using the same evidence-based model that relies on 27 different sets of data, along with nationally accepted best practices for school funding, to determine how to deliver dollars where they are needed most. In addition, the two bills use similar methods for determining certain criterial, including directing funding to low-income students and determining different costs between different parts of the state.
“We have come to agreement on the majority of how we fund schools, including many of the most important aspects,” said Senator Weaver. “Now we have to take the next step and advance this legislation during the special session.”
A comparison between how the two bills would fund schools in the 37th District is below:
The full ISBE analysis for both bills is available at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Education-Funding-Proposals.aspx.