config

Senate Democrats pass fair funding for all Illinois schools

sb1a

Illinois school districts, shortchanged for decades under the state's worst-in-the-nation education funding formula, could see a significant influx of funding to level the playing field for the poorest districts with wealthier suburban districts under a landmark school funding reform measure that passed in both houses of the legislature this week.

“I am pleased and incredibly proud that after four years of studying and debating the issue of school funding, lawmakers from all over Illinois today were able to agree finally that students in schools all over Illinois are struggling because of an unfair and inadequate funding system,” Manar said.

“This is a good bill because it addresses the root of the problem we have: inequity. Lawmakers and the governor have to stop fighting to preserve a broken system. This plan will send money to the poorest districts in the state. I represent some of them. This enables us to turn a major corner for the first time in 20 years in Illinois and attack poverty in the public school classroom.”

“I am thrilled that this landmark reform has passed both chambers," Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) said. "This measure is about equity and the right to a quality education. I urge the governor to take our children out of politics and stop letting zip codes determine the quality of their education.”

“I proudly joined my colleagues in the General Assembly in voting for Senate Bill 1, which acknowledges the urgent need to reform Illinois’ terrible method of funding public schools, while offering property tax relief and ensuring no schools see a loss of funding in the process,” said Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park).

“Combined with passage of a balanced state budget that fully funds public schools, I believe this is the single most-significant statewide anti-poverty measure the legislature will pass this spring. I urge Gov. Rauner to sign it into law as soon as it lands on his desk.”

Senate Bill 1 has strong support from thousands of school administrators, superintendents, principals, educators, taxpayers and advocates for fair school funding. Illinois’ school funding formula has not been updated in more than 20 years and is considered one of the worst in the nation because it relies so heavily on local property wealth.

An analysis of Illinois State Board of Education figures released estimates this week by Funding Illinois’ Future – a coalition that advocates for school funding reform – shows potential funding increases for local school districts under Senate Bill 1, an evidence-based model that accounts for factors such as students with disabilities, English language learners and low-income students.

It also provides extra support for the neediest districts in the quest for adequate funding, and it offers property tax relief.

No school district would receive less funding under Senate Bill 1 than they have received under Illinois’ current school funding formula.

To review the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis, visit fundingilfuture.org.