ISBE Requests Lawmakers Double Public School Funding

Jan 17, 2018

The Illinois State Board of Education Wednesday voted unanimously to ask the general assembly to DOUBLE state funding for public schools.

Last summer, the legislature voted to change the way Illinois funds schools by adopting what's called an evidence-based model. That model weighs what each district needs against its local resources. As it turns out, some districts can't achieve even 50 percent of adequate funding, while others can get close to tripling what they need.

Citing the state constitution's requirement to be the primary provider of education, board members approved a $15.7 billion dollar budget request.

Board member Kevin Settle makes it sound reasonable.

'I think it's our responsibility to ask for what it takes to fund each school in the state so each child gets the education they need and deserve."

But the truth is: this request is about double what schools got last year. Even Settle admits it will be difficult for lawmakers to cough up that kind of dough.

The board's request reflects the state's new evidence-based funding structure, which measures each district's local resources against what it needs to educate students.

Results have shown some districts have only 46 percent of the funds they need, while others have 284 percent.