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Schools treated more equitably under latest education funding proposal

Analysis from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) clearly shows that all local schools would be treated more equitably and receive more financial help under a recent compromise school funding bill sponsored by State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods), which would fix the state’s broken school aid formula—providing a more equitable system for all 852 Illinois schools than any previous proposal.

“There have been countless hours spent in meetings and hearings trying to develop a school funding system that is fair and equitable. This legislation is a direct result of that,” said Sen. McConchie. “Not only does this treat all of the state’s 852 schools more equitably than any previous proposal, it represents the priorities of legislators from both parties and reflects what the bipartisan Illinois School Funding Commission recommended.”

Senator McConchie said according to the data provided from 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. 

“This legislation is what is best for all schools in the state, regardless of zip code,” said Sen. McConchie. “As with Senate Bill 1, it distributes the funds equitably through a tiered system to ensure that those districts who are farthest away from having sufficient funding and that are most in need receive new state money first. What is does not do is direct the bulk of state funding to Chicago Public Schools to the detriment of the poorest kids elsewhere in our state.”

The 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.” 

However, he made it clear that he would sign SB1124 due to its more equitable and fair method for funding all schools.

“We all care about the troubles plaguing Chicago schools, but we can’t keep putting that system ahead of other districts with students who are living in greater poverty,” said Sen. McConchie. “Providing special deals for Chicago at the expense of poorer students elsewhere across the state does not foster equity, particularly when it undermines the adequacy of funding for school districts all across the state.”

Senator McConchie said SB1124 offers the best path forward for school funding reform and urges his colleagues to pass this legislation as soon as possible during special session.

Comparison between how the two bills would fund schools in the 32nd District


The full ISBE analysis for both bills is available at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Education-Funding-Proposals.aspx. 

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