How much funding would your district gain under SB 1?

Jun 12, 2017

A Democrat-backed bill that would overhaul Illinois’ deeply flawed education funding system managed to advance through the General Assembly on the last day of the spring session, albeit without a state budget to fund it.

Senate Bill 1 essentially would change the formula Illinois uses to fund its K-12 public schools by implementing an evidence-based model that sets individual adequacy targets for every district in the state.

A district’s adequacy target — or amount of additional state funding that’s determined to be necessary to adequately educate each student — is calculated based on a number of factors, such as the amount of local resources available, region of the state, percentage of low-income students, technology and class size ratios, among dozens of other indicators.

WTTW Chicago Tonight reports:

Any new state contributions would go first to districts that are furthest from their adequacy targets and SB1 promises that no school district will see a decrease in funding. It ranks districts on a four-tier scale and uses current funding amounts as a baseline starting point before adding new state dollars to those levels going forward.

An analysis of the bill from the education advocacy organization Advance Illinois – which supports the bill – says 85 percent of all money in SB1 will go to districts comprised primarily of low-income students.

Those new dollars would be phased in over the next decade.

Top 10 school districts with the biggest gain in funding per student (see chart below for all districts)

1. J S Morton HSD 201 – $1,062 (Cicero)

  • Total additional funding: $8.8 million
  • Students: 8,290
  • Low-income students: 88%
  • English learners: 12.5%
  • Operational spending per pupil: $11,285

2. Aurora East USD 131 – $925

  • Total additional funding: $13 million
  • Students: 14,659
  • Low-income students: 63%
  • English learners: 34.3%
  • Operational spending per pupil: $11,335

3. Waukegan CUSD 60 – $919

  • Total additional funding: $14.6 million
  • Students: 16,819
  • Low-income students: 55%
  • English learners: 32%
  • Operational spending per pupil: $12,806

4. Chester N HSD 122 – $846

  • Total additional funding: $39,780
  • Students: n/a
  • Low-income students: n/a
  • English learners: n/a
  • Operational spending per pupil: n/a

5. Burnham SD 154-5 – $802

  • Total additional funding: $39,780
  • Students: 218
  • Low-income students: 97%
  • English learners: 19%
  • Operational spending per pupil: $12,005

6. Joliet PSD 86 – $776

  • Total additional funding: $8.8 million
  • Students: 11,695
  • Low-income students: 96%
  • English learners: 21%
  • Operational spending per pupil: $10,743

7. Anna Jonesboro CHSD 81 – $769

  • Total additional funding: $412,418
  • Students: 541
  • Low-income students: 44%
  • English learners: 0%
  • Operational spending per pupil: $10,049

8. Round Lake CUSD 116 – $768

  • Total additional funding: $5.5 million
  • Students: 7,297
  • Low-income students: 52%
  • English learners: 27%
  • Operational spending per pupil: $12,334

9. Berwyn South SD 100 – $766

  • Total additional funding: $2.9 million
  • Students: 3,936
  • Low-income students: 73%
  • English learners: 25%
  • Operational spending per pupil: $10,717

10. Cicero SD 99 – $750

  • Total additional funding: $8.7 million
  • Students: 12,470
  • Low-income students: 92%
  • English learners: 52%
  • Operational spending per pupil: $10,084

* Chicago Public Schools (City of Chicago SD 299) – $193

  • Total additional funding: $70.8 million
  • Students: 392,051
  • Low-income students: 84%
  • English learners: 18%
  • Operational spending per pupil: $15,378

But the legislation faces an uphill battle as Gov. Bruce Rauner has vowed to veto the bill in its current form because it provides hundreds of millions of dollars annually to Chicago Public School to help cover the cost of its pension payments, while also allowing the cash-strapped district to fold its $250 million annual block grant — something no other district receives — into its base funding from the state.

Rauner and GOP lawmakers have decried SB 1 as a bailout for CPS, arguing taxpayers outside of the district should not be on the hook for decades of “fiscal mismanagement.” Democrats and supporters of the bill contend it’s unfair for CPS to be solely responsible for its pension payment when the state pays the costs of all other districts’ teacher pensions.

The conservative Illinois Policy Institute, a staunch critic of the bill, has called the proposal a “distraction” from passing “real reforms.”

Lawmakers should reform pensions and encourage district consolidation to free state dollars from Illinois’ expensive, growing education bureaucracy, rather than make downstate taxpayers bail out a mismanaged Chicago school district[…]

SB 1 gives more special carve-outs and bailouts – worth hundreds of millions of dollars in state funding – to CPS. State lawmakers are forcing downstate taxpayers to bail out Chicago after more than 20 years of district mismanagement, skipped pension payments, excessive borrowing and unaffordable teacher contracts.

Additionally, only one Republican, state Rep. Michael McAuliffe of Chicago, voted for the measure and four House Democrats voted against it. Without the full support from Democratic members and several more GOP votes, the Illinois House will be unable to garner the 71 votes needed to override Rauner’s veto.

And then there’s the issue of money. A school funding reform task force commissioned by Rauner earlier this year estimated Illinois would need to come up with an additional $3.5 billion to $6 billion in new revenue a year for every district to meet its adequacy target. SB 1 calls for an additional $350 million in state aid to meet these funding levels for the coming school year.

That could be prove to be most difficult of all as both chambers now not only need a three-fifths majority to pass a budget, but one undoubtedly would have to contain an array of tax increases to generate enough revenue to meet the additional funding requirements.

SB 1 would take effect immediately in the fall, but that only could happen if Rauner and Democratic legislative leaders can reach a budget deal beforehand.

See the spreadsheet below to see how much your districts stand to gain under SB 1.

Related: Time to squeeze salary bloat from Cook County school districts
May 26, 2014

Bad habits can be infectious, which may explain why Cook County government’s well-earned reputation for wasteful spending, bloated bureaucracy and resistance to change has spilled over to the county’s independent…

share to facebook share to twitter comment
Be the first to respond to this quote.
Add a Comment commt