Education Funding

  • jbt 053018SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate Education Committee discussed solutions to statewide funding shortages for early childhood education programs this week.

    State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) led the charge last year to establish an evidence-based funding formula to dispense state dollars to public schools more effectively and is ready to take on the issue of early childhood education.

    “Our goal is to guarantee all Illinois’ children are given the opportunity to succeed,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “After last year’s effort, we are one step closer to ending education inequalities in our communities by funding schools the right way. The next step is to tackle the way we fund our early childhood programs.”

  • bennett 032318DANVILLE –Danville School District 118 will receive more than $2.1 million in new money through the education funding overhaul passed by the Senate last year, announced State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign).

    Under the school funding reform plan, schools will continue to receive the same state assistance they previously received.  However, the new formula is designed to ensure the most state assistance will be directed to school districts most in need.

    “For far too long, many downstate school districts like those in Danville were being left behind by the state,” Bennett said. “Now, for the first time we have a funding formula that provides fair and adequate funding for students throughout the state.”

    The distribution is based on detailed enrollment figures, district-specific student learning needs, available local resources and other data. No schools in Danville will receive less state funding than they do today.

    “Every school in Danville is a winner under this plan,” Bennett said. “This new money is a good first step in giving students, teachers and parents in Danville the equitable and fair funding level that they deserve.”

  • castro 031518ELGIN– Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) announced today that School district 46 will receive more than $22.4 million in new money under Illinois’ new education funding formula.

    The Illinois State Board of Education issued vouchers to the state comptroller on Thursday for school districts around the state to begin receiving their money under Illinois’ new evidence-based model.

    “The way our public schools have been funded has been unfair until now,” said Castro. “It is nice to finally have a plan that places the groundwork for public schools to be fairly funded by the state. Our teachers, our communities and most importantly our students deserve this.”

    The distribution is the first step to ensure that every school district receives equitable support from the state. The model ensures that schools will not receive less state funding than they do today.

  • holmes 022718AURORA – Aurora schools will receive over $20 million in new funding thanks to the school funding formula overhaul supported by State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora). Last week, the Illinois State Board of Education issued funds under the new formula to school districts around the state.

    The distribution is based on detailed enrollment figures, district-specific student learning needs, the availability of local resources and other data. Intended as a first step toward fairer state support for every school district, the formula ensures no schools will ever receive less state funding than they do today under the new plan.

    “Aurora school districts will see some of the largest increases in state funding, allowing them to correct inequalities caused by Illinois’ old, unfair funding model,” Holmes said. “For far too long, a student’s ZIP code has dictated the quality of education that he or she will receive. I look forward to seeing this trend reversed as Illinois dedicates more resources to its schools.”

    Under the new formula, over $20 million in new, additional funding from the state will be sent to school districts serving Aurora. Aurora East Unit School District 131 will receive over $12.6 million, one of the largest funding increases in the state. Aurora West Unit School District 129 will receive $6.4 million and Indian Prairie School District 204 will receive over $700,000.

  • link 040618SPRINGFIELD – Some of Lake County’s most underfunded school districts will receive a significant boost under Illinois’ new education funding formula, Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) announced today.

    Schools in Waukegan and North Chicago specifically will receive close to $17 million in new state support because they are among Illinois’ least funded districts and unable to adequately educate their students.

    “When we passed education funding reform last year, we recognized that each school district in our state has unique needs that should be taken into consideration when we distribute funds,” Link said. “When these funds are released, the neediest districts will get the most funding, giving every student in Illinois an equal opportunity for a quality education.”

    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) issued vouchers to the Illinois Comptroller today that clear the way for schools around the state to begin receiving money under the new evidence-based model.

    ISBE worked with school districts and lawmakers for months to calculate the distribution, taking into account enrollment, district-specific student learning needs, available local resources and other data.

    The overhaul of education funding reform passed by the Senate last year created a tiered system in which money is prioritized for the districts furthest from the adequacy target. 

    No school district in the state received less money today than it did last year.

    The distributions for schools in Link’s district are as follows:

    School district

    Percent of adequacy

    Tier

    New Money

    Total State Contribution

    GURNEE SCHOOL DIST 56

     

    76%

    2

    $87,941.57

    $2,612,975.89

    WAUKEGAN C U SCHOOL DIST 60

     

    50%

    1

    $14,333,114.59

    $124,538,347.73

    RONDOUT SCHOOL DIST 72

     

    283%

    4

    $190.85

    $103,333.04

    HAWTHORN C C SCHOOL DIST 73

     

    82%

    2

    $108,504.27

    $3,834,239.36

    MUNDELEIN ELEM SCHOOL DIST 75

     

    67%

    2

    $146,130.92

    $3,923,325.03

    KILDEER COUNTRYSIDE C C S DIST 96

     

    120%

    4

    $4,584.24

    $2,472,869.67

    APTAKISIC-TRIPP C C S DIST 102

     

    111%

    4

    $3,275.33

    $1,762,112.12

    LINCOLNSHIRE-PRAIRIEVIEW S D 103

     

    134%

    4

    $2,358.37

    $1,030,560.75

    MUNDELEIN CONS HIGH SCH DIST 120

     

    91%

    3

    $50,496.96

    $1,952,852.54

    ADLAI E STEVENSON DIST 125

     

    166%

    4

    $6,239.15

    $2,547,512.13

    LIBERTYVILLE COMM H SCH DIST 128

     

    168%

    4

    $5,101.21

    $2,116,554.57

    NORTH CHICAGO SCHOOL DIST 187

     

    53%

    1

    $2,499,168.12

    $27,116,808.10              

  • stadelman 040918ROCKFORD – Rockford-area public schools will receive an additional $9.3 million for the current school year, thanks to a new school funding plan backed by State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford). The new evidence-based plan sends additional dollars to schools with less access to local resources.  

    While projections had been previously available, today the Illinois State Board of Education released the final dollar amounts school districts will receive.

    “Thanks to hundreds of hours of bipartisan committees and the hard work of students, educators and parents, today is a historic day for Rockford and Harlem school districts. This new formula offers our schools the stability they need to educate future generations,” Stadelman said.

    According to ISBE, Rockford School District will receive nearly $8.6 million more, while Harlem Unit District will receive an additional $772,000. Payments to school districts are expected to begin next week and continue through the rest of the fiscal year.

  • manar 031418Manar urges governor to sign measure promptly

    SPRINGFIELD – The state will be able to distribute eagerly awaited funding under Illinois’ new education formula as soon as April under legislation approved by the Senate – as long as the governor chooses to act quickly when it reaches his desk.

    The measure, approved Wednesday, is a trailer bill to Illinois’ historic 550-page school funding reform law. It was requested by state education officials who said clarifications and corrections were needed to the original language before they could ensure money would be distributed as intended under the new funding model.

  • isbe approp 022718SPRINGFIELD – The governor’s plan to dump the state’s share of teacher pension costs on local school districts would have devastating effects on classrooms and learning throughout Illinois, state education officials said Tuesday.
     
    The testimony of State Superintendent of Schools Tony Smith and other education officials during a Senate budget hearing confirms what Democratic and Republican lawmakers have been saying since Gov. Bruce Rauner unveiled his budget plan Feb. 14.
     
    “The governor is playing the game of trickling expenses down to local districts. My school leaders are already facing high levels of unpredictability and uncertainty. They’re unable to carry a half-billion dollars in new spending that the governor is putting on them,” said State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, a Democrat from Plainfield and a member of the Senate Appropriations II Committee.

  • jbt 120817PLAINFIELD- State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) advanced legislation to ensure public schools are funded adequately before any state funds are diverted to pay for tax breaks to wealthy individuals and corporate scholarship donors. 

    “This initiative solidifies our bipartisan goal to fund our public schools in a way that guarantees our children are provided an excellent education regardless of their zip code,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Every single dollar in state education spending should go toward the adequate education of our children until the disparities created by generations of systematic inequality in Illinois’ school system are fixed.”

    Bertino-Tarrant’s measure, Senate Bill 2236, was filed in response to Senate Bill 1947, which includes a five-year pilot program that would award a 75 percent tax credit to donors that contribute to scholarship funds for students to attend non-public schools. The credits are capped at of up to $1 million per taxpayer and $75 million statewide.  

    “Public education should be the top priority,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is unacceptable that these tax credits are diverting resources away from the classroom.”

    Bertino-Tarrant said this could take valuable taxpayer dollars away from Illinois’ public schools especially if the minimum funding level is not met.   

    “The bipartisan reform passed in the Senate and House stipulated that the General Assembly shall meet the minimum funding level each year. This new measure simply helps guarantee the legislature stays true to its promises,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

    The new school funding mechanism outlined in Senate Bill 1947 established an evidence-based funding formula to dispense state dollars to public schools. The formula institutes a base funding minimum that serves as a hold harmless to ensure school districts do not lose state dollars year after year.

    Any additional funding the General Assembly appropriates is distributed through a tier-based system that prioritizes the state’s poorest and most disadvantaged schools. The funding plan outlined in the new law includes a minimum funding level of $350 million in additional funding each year, with the goal of meeting the total statewide adequacy target over a period of time.

    Senate Bill 2236 passed the Senate’s Committee on Education and moves to the full senate for consideration.

  • mcguire 030717 1714SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Pat McGuire today decried Gov. Bruce Rauner’s plan to stop funding for Advanced Placement, teacher certification and parent mentoring for K-12 students, programs important to Will County schools and communities.

    “Again this year, the governor’s proposed budget cuts funding to zero for effective programs,” McGuire said. “For example, Joliet Township High School District 204 recently won a national award for giving more students the opportunity to earn college credit in high school through AP courses. Yet Governor Rauner wants to eliminate state funding for AP teacher training and AP test discounts for needy students.”

    McGuire noted in a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing today that the Illinois State Board of Education favors funding the very programs the governor wants to eliminate. In response to McGuire’s questions, an ISBE official said the programs build a stronger state.

    “Parents, students and teachers again this year need to speak up for the best opportunities available for students and the best training available for teachers,” McGuire said.

  • jbt041415PLAINFIELD — State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement after being appointed to the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission. 

    Modernizing our state’s outdated education funding system must be a priority. Every student should be given the chance to receive a quality education and fulfill their potential. We need to do what is right for our students and fairly fund our schools. The Governor’s creation of this commission demonstrates the seriousness of this issue. I look forward to working in a bipartisan manner with members of the commission to find solutions which will put needed resources into classrooms throughout my district and across Illinois.

    Gov. Bruce Rauner announced the creation of the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission this week. The commission will be comprised of five legislators from each caucus and five educational experts.

    Bertino-Tarrant is a life-long educator who served as the regional school superintendent for Will County prior to being elected to the Illinois Senate.

    It is anticipated that the commission will start meeting this summer.

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  • hutchinson mediaSPRINGFIELD – Kankakee-area schools would see more than $5.5 million more in state funding next year under a plan being considered tomorrow in the Illinois Senate.

    “Investing in the future success of our students starts with ensuring our classrooms are well-equipped and ready to train the leaders of tomorrow,” supporter State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said. “Increasing state funding for school districts not only accomplishes this goal but also takes the pressure off communities with little property wealth to draw resources from.”

    Under the plan being considered, Kankakee School District 111 would see a $4,556,749 increase, Bradley School District 61 would see a $469,701 increase, Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School would see a $399,546 increase and Bourbonnais Elementary School District 53 would see a $282,688 increase.

    “Many school districts would not be able to open on time this year without receiving their state payments,” Hutchinson said. “This plan brings stability to families and teachers and ensures schools open on time this fall.”

    The proposal is expected to be debated and called for a vote tomorrow when the Senate returns to Springfield.

  • hunter 062816CHICAGO – More than $25 million in state funding for youth employment and after-school programs is up for a vote in the Illinois Senate on Wednesday.

    “Once thriving after-school programs on Chicago’s South Side are struggling to remain open,” said State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago), a career advocate for youth jobs and violence prevention in the city. “Last year, I met teenage filmmakers at After School Matters who used their cameras to lead anti-violence efforts in our community. Now, those teens are at risk of losing the very activities that kept them safe during dangerous summers.”

    In November, Hunter visited the video and music production program TechKno Camp to participate in the students short docudrama focused on violence prevention.

    An Illinois Senate-assembled plan would provide $13 million for youth programs like Teen Reach and $12 million for youth employment and after-school programs in the state.

    Additional proposals to provide $655 million to public universities including Chicago State University and increase Chicago Public Schools’ funding by $286 million are on the table for Wednesday.

    “I hope the governor will give our youth a fighting chance by adequately funding youth programs, K-12 education and public universities,” Hunter said.

    The Senate will convene on Wednesday at noon to take action on pending budget measures.

  • Harmon03032016SPRINGFIELD — School districts from Oak Park to Addison stand to receive more than $15 million in additional funding under a bipartisan budget proposal to be voted on when senators return to Springfield this week.

    The education funding bill is part of a broader series of measures to keep the state running as the current budget year winds down. State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) noted that the measure clearly establishes education funding as a top priority for the state."

    “This is the clean education bill that the governor wanted.” Harmon said. “We have listened to his feedback regarding earlier proposals. I hope the governor will sign this bill into law as soon as possible so that our schools open on schedule and teacher and administrators have time to plan for the year ahead.”

    Under the proposal, $760 million in additional money is provided so that every school in the state receives state foundation level funding. As it stands, that means several school districts in the 39th District will receive more than $1 million in additional funding for the upcoming school year, and every school in the district will receive more this year than they did last year. 

    “This is a great step forward. With increased support and certainty from the state, every single student, no matter the ZIP code, will have a better chance of receiving a quality education,” Harmon said. “It’s the right thing to do.” 

    The Illinois Senate returns to Springfield on Wednesday.

  • murphy 042616SPRINGFIELD – School districts in the Northwest Suburbs would receive $6.5 million more in state funding over last year under a plan being considered in the Illinois Senate.

    “This proposal would ensure schools across the state have the resources necessary to open their doors on time this fall,” State Senator Laura Murphy (D – Des Plaines) said. “We must give students, their parents and teachers the assurance that there will not be any disruptions in education funding due to the budget impasse.”

    School districts in the 28th District that would see increased state funding include Community Consolidated School District 59 ($2,237,269 increase), Schaumburg Township Elementary School District 54 ($1,721,290 increase), Des Plaines School District 62 ($1,524,490 increase), Maine Township High School District 207 ($494,814 increase), Keeneyville Elementary School District 20 ($434,687 increase) and Park Ridge – Niles School District 64 ($117,995 increase).

    “Increasing state support for school districts not only invests in our student’s economic future but also decreases the huge reliance on property taxes as a way to fund our schools,” Murphy said.

  • bennett 040616CHAMPAIGN- Local schools will receive $5.9 million more under a new plan being assembled in the Illinois Senate. 

    State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) supports legislation to increase education funding for Champaign County students and allow schools to open their doors on time this fall.

    Champaign County schools would see the following increases in funding:

    Champaign Community Unit School District 4             $2,420,419

    Urbana School District 116                                        $1,761,301

    Rantoul City School District 137                                 $1,197,466

    “Education funding is my top priority,” Bennett said. “It’s important that we all work together to pass a plan to give our children the best opportunity to succeed. This is a clean school funding plan to keep our schools open.”

    This proposal also fully funds agriculture education.

    “It’s important for us to educate and train Illinois’ future farmers,” Bennett said. “Agribusiness is the backbone of Illinois’ economy. We need to continue to make investments in this essential industry.”  

    The Senate will convene on Wednesday at noon to take action on pending budget measures.

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  • forby bailoutBENTON - Southern Illinois schools would be big winners under a clean school funding plan being finalized that Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) said he will support at the Capitol on Wednesday.

    Local schools would see their state support increase by nearly $10 million over what they received this past year. In fact, Forby said no school would lose funding if the plan manages to become law, which would require approval in the Senate, Illinois House and the governor’s signature.

    “No more games. People need to put politics aside to ensure our schools open on time,” Forby said. “This plan fully funds our schools. Springfield will stop shortchanging us and cheating our schools, our students, our teachers and our taxpayers out of the money they were promised.”

    As proposed, for the first time in years the state would fully fund its commitment to local schools, and put an end to several years’ worth of the state knowingly cutting back payments to them. This practice was especially unfair to Southern Illinois schools while wealthy suburban Chicago districts were able to cope more easily with the cuts.

    Examples of local school gains under the proposal:

    Herrin School District would see a $914,000 increase, raising its state support to more than $11.7 million. That’s an 8 percent increase over previous state support.

    Marion School District would see a nearly $882,000 increase, which would take its total state aid to more than $9.5 million. That’s a 10 percent increase over what the state provided last year.

    Massac School District would get a nearly $576,000 increase to more than $9.1 million in state aid. That’s a 7 percent increase in state support.

    Cairo School District would get an additional $522,000. Total state support for Cairo schools would be more than $3.6 million, a 17 percent increase.

    Harrisburg School District would see its state support increase by more than $623,000 to almost $9.8 million. That’s a 7 percent increase.

    Forby said the deal is too good for Southern Illinois to pass up.

    “Every school in the region will see an increase in funding. That’s a plan I can support,” Forby said. “We all know Southern Illinois schools have been shortchanged for years. That ends now. It’s time we got our fair share.”

    The Senate plans to take up the proposal on Wednesday.

  • koehler 040616PEORIA – Area schools stand to gain more than $15 million in state funding under a plan being assembled in the Illinois Senate for a vote on Wednesday.

    Peoria School District 150 would see the biggest gains with a more than $10 million increase in state support. But all other area schools also see gains.

    “All local school districts win under this plan,” said State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria). “We created a clean education bill that the governor could support. Last year, he signed an education budget so I am hopeful he will stand with us to keep schools open.”

    Under the legislation, Pekin Public School District 108 would receive more than $960,000 in funding and East Peoria School District 86 nearly $380,000.

    “This is a positive step toward putting every student on the path to success,” Koehler said. 

    The proposal is expected to be up for a vote Wednesday when the Senate returns to session.