School Funding Update
ILLINOIS SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULA UPDATE
While Senate Bill 6 (budget bill) appropriates $350 million for a new, evidence-based funding formula for K-12 education, an evidence-based formula has not been signed into law. Senate Bill 1 has been passed by both chambers, and should be sent to the governor soon. However, Governor Rauner has stated publicly that he will veto the bill.
Senate Bill 6 still includes $65 million for regular transportation reimbursements to school districts which will set the pro-ration level to over 80%, increases Early Childhood Education funding by $50 million, and increases Bilingual Education funding by $29 million. The other mandated categorical grant line items will be funded at least at Fiscal Year 2017 levels. At this time we do not believe that these categorical funding streams are in jeopardy without an evidence-based funding formula in place.
Senate Republicans have also filed an evidence-based funding bill, Senate Bill 1124, but no votes have been taken on this legislation. SB 1124 differs in how poverty concentrations are calculated and implemented. The bill also eliminates block grants to Chicago Public Schools (as does SB 1), but further removes their FY17 block grant funding from their hold harmless total. (Read more here.)
Some lawmakers have advocated for leveraging school funding reform for other reforms such as term limits and changes to workers' compensation