Recent articles and editorials discussing Illinois school funding reform:

Superintendent’s View: Right Now Students Face ‘Bare Minimum’ Education in Illinois Until Our Funding is Fixed

Education Post, July 28, 2017

Too often Illinois has been viewed as a laughingstock by the rest of the country for its broken finances and its notorious governors. The chaos of the last few years, though, is enough to make even the most forgiving person shudder.

Now, after a historic budget impasse has ended, schools in the state face a final hurdle in fixing a broken education funding formula that has left far too many children disadvantaged for far too long.

Read more here: http://educationpost.org/superintendents-view-right-now-students-bare-minimum-education-in-illinois-until-our-funding-is-fixed/

Standoff on Illinois School Funding Leaves District Officials and Lawmakers Worried

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 27, 2017

Worried superintendents joined state officials at a forum Thursday night to discuss how a standoff in Springfield, Ill., over a funding plan could affect schools across the state.

“Tonight we’re standing here fighting for the bare minimum,” Staunton superintendent Dan Cox told about 200 people gathered in the Gillespie High School gym.

Read more here: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/education/standoff-on-illinois-school-funding-leaves-district-officials-and-lawmakers/article_8de5924d-c4df-57f5-ad20-1081fd4839d9.html

Deadline for School Funding in Illinois Approaching on Tuesday

KMOV, July 27, 2017

Lawmakers and Illinois Governor have until Tuesday to reach a deal on school funding or many districts won’t get state aid by the time classes start in August.

State Senator Andy Manar and State Comptroller Susana Mendoza brought an urgent message to people in Gillespie, Illinois Thursday night.

“I’m not going to stop until it’s done,” Manar says.

Read more here: http://www.kmov.com/story/35992188/deadline-for-school-funding-in-illinois-approaching-on-tuesday

School Funding In Illinois Must Be Fixed

JG-TC, July 27, 2017

Illinois’ method of funding public education is broken. On this, almost everyone agrees.

We rank 15th in the nation in K-12 spending, but only two states show greater disparity between the wealthiest and the poorest districts. While the cost of education has continued to rise, ISBE has maintained the same foundation level of support for school districts — $6,119 per pupil — for the last eight years.

Read more here: http://jg-tc.com/opinion/letters/letter-school-funding-in-illinois-must-be-fixed/article_f2690192-538c-5aea-8829-9bbbef781d88.html

VOICE OF THE READER: SB1 IS FAIR AS-IS

The Southern, July 26, 2017

Sunday’s Voice of The Southern made a great point: with the first day of school fast approaching, Illinois must fund schools now so students aren’t left waiting at the bus stop while adults argue. However, their compromise — eliminating pension payments to Chicago — would mean Chicago would continue to play by a separate set of rules.

Read more here: http://thesouthern.com/opinion/letters/voice-of-the-reader-sb-is-fair-as-is/article_429a2b3c-04e2-5f87-943d-f87e658d372e.html

BATTLE LINES DRAWN ON SCHOOL FUNDING BILL AHEAD OF SPECIAL SESSION

ABC 7, July 25, 2017

The bottom line for school boards, administrators and everyone involved in educating children is that lawmakers have to approve some kind of funding bill soon or districts won’t get their state money in time to open schools in the fall. But there is division about whether the current bill, stalled in the Senate, is the right way to fund education.

Read more here: http://abc7chicago.com/education/battle-lines-drawn-on-school-funding-bill-ahead-of-special-session/2249800/

SHOWDOWN OVER STATE FUNDING THREATENS START OF SCHOOL YEAR

Chicago Tribune, July 25, 2017

If no agreement is reached within the next two weeks, the question of whether to begin the school year is left to local school boards and superintendents. A key consideration is the financial situation in individual districts, particularly the amount of cash reserves a district has on hand.

Read more here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/opinion/ct-sta-slowik-school-funding-st-0726-20170725-story.html

DOWNSTATE KNOWS MORE ABOUT ITS SCHOOLS THAN FIRST LADY DOES

Chicago Sun-Times, July 25, 2017

Each of these Downstate superintendents says the school funding bill is a long overdue fix that will more fairly treat children in school districts all across the state, starting with their own.

The governor says it is a “Chicago bailout” because the state will take responsibility for funding Chicago teacher pensions, as has long been the case for suburban and Downstate teachers.

Read more here: http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/brown-downstate-knows-more-about-its-schools-than-first-lady-does/

RAUNER CALLS LAWMAKERS BACK TO CAPITOL FOR EDUCATION FUNDING BATTLE

WTTW, July 24, 2017

As Chicago Public Schools principals rifled through their budgets for the coming school year to meet a Thursday deadline—after being stalled by technical difficulties with their budgeting software—Gov. Bruce Rauner issued lawmakers a separate deadline: have Senate Bill 1 on his desk by noon Monday, or face a special session.

Read more here: http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2017/07/24/rauner-calls-lawmakers-back-capitol-education-funding-battle

ILLINOIS SCHOOL FUNDING REFORM AT A CRITICAL JUNCTURE

Reboot Illinois, July 24, 2017

After two years, six days, and 16 hours, Illinois finally passed a budget earlier this month.  Illinois school funding however, is still pending with the approaching school year looming. With the help of Republicans who demonstrated courage in breaking ranks with the Governor, the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives voted to override Rauner’s veto to provide citizens with a budget.

Read more here: https://rebootillinois.com/2017/07/24/illinois-school-funding-reform-critical-juncture/

TOWN HALL MEETING URGES ACTION ON SCHOOL FUNDING

Canton Daily Ledger, July 20, 2017

A town hall meeting to explain the bill and the changes it would make in education funding, and to urge local residents to take action to get the bill approved was held Tuesday in the Canton High School auditorium. Representatives from various Fulton County and other school districts, as well as a number of local citizens, attended.

Read more here: http://www.cantondailyledger.com/news/20170720/town-hall-meeting-urges-action-on-school-funding

DEMAND OUR LEADERS CHOOSE CHILDREN OVER POLITICS

QC Online, July 19, 2017

Fitting a smart compromise into that tiny window is complicated by a nasty political environment, made more toxic by the recent override of the governor’s budget veto. Critics believe Democratic leaders’ real motivation is to tar Gov. Rauner with slamming closed the schoolhouse doors.

Read more here: http://www.qconline.com/editorials/editorial-demand-our-leaders-choose-children-over-politics/article_b82ae87b-8a28-5843-b854-79b94755e3a5.html

Statement in response to Governor’s threat of SB1 amendatory veto

 

7/18/17

The Fix the Formula campaign and Funding Illinois’ Future coalition, comprised of hundreds of superintendents, civil rights organizations, teachers, parents and student advocates from across the state, stand firm in support of SB1. All kids win in SB1.

We urge Governor Rauner to sign SB1, an evidence-based model for school funding. SB1 treats all school districts across the state fairly—and drives resources to those serving the neediest kids and with the lowest property values. Under SB1 no school district loses money, period. The bill invests more in every school.

The Governor supports a plan that cuts funding from Chicago Public Schools—which serves a student population that’s 84% low-income. The bill moves CPS further from adequate funding, which is inequitable and wrong.

We urge the Governor to consider the needs of all students across Illinois and sign SB1 when the bill reaches his desk. This is no time for an amendatory veto that plays politics with schools opening and pits students against each other.

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About Fix the Formula Illinois

Fix the Formula Illinois is a campaign of Advance Illinois, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Educators 4 Excellence, Equity First, Faith Coalition for the Common Good, Funding Illinois’ Future, Gamaliel of Metro Chicago, High School District Organizations of Illinois, Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education, Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois Association of School Business Officials, Illinois for Educational Equity, Illinois Principals Association, Instituto del Progreso Latino, Latino Policy Forum, League of United Latin American Citizens, Noble Network, Ounce of Prevention Fund, Pilsen Neighbors Community Council, Quad County Urban League, South Suburban Action Conference, Springfield Urban League, Taylorville Citizens for Education, Teach Plus Illinois, Tri-County Urban League, United Congregations of the Metro East, Urban Muslim Minority Alliance and Vision 20/20. Learn more about the Fix the Formula Illinois campaign at www.fundingilfuture.org/fixtheformulaillinois.

UNDERSTANDING SB1: CHANGING THE ILLINOIS SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULA

Northwest Suburban Council PTA, July 18, 2017

Senate Bill 1 (SB1) is aimed at improving how Illinois distributes money to local school districts. The bill uses an Evidence-Based Funding Model, as recommended by Governor Rauner’s Illinois School Funding Reform Commission to distribute new state education funding in a more equitable manner than the existing formula. SB1 has passed both houses and awaits the governor’s signature or veto. The budget passed by the legislature requires that school funding use an evidence-based model, such as SB1, without which no funds will be distributed to K-12 schools this fiscal year. SB1 is the only such funding formula bill to pass both houses.

Read more here: http://nwscpta.org/2017/07/18/understanding-sb1-changing-the-illinois-school-funding-formula/

ENCOURAGE RAUNER TO SIGN SENATE BILL 1

Herald & Review, July 18, 2017

Our state budget crisis appears to be over; however, funding for schools is still unknown. A new school funding bill, Senate Bill 1, awaits a signature by the governor for schools to be adequately funded. Senate Bill 1 distributes funding based on what research says works and the unique needs of every student in Illinois, driving dollars to the neediest districts first. Senate Bill 1 helps fix inequalities by changing the funding model and considers each district’s local resources so money isn’t taken away from any district.

Read more here: http://herald-review.com/opinion/letters/encourage-rauner-to-sign-senate-bill/article_8a0edbf0-0de9-5022-90dc-476c7b29e28a.html

WILL ILLINOIS SCHOOLS OPEN THIS FALL? STOP STALLING, LAWMAKERS

Chicago Tribune, July 13, 2017

A new doomsday looms: Schools across the state may not be able to open, or stay open, through the 2017-18 year. That’s because billions of dollars in state funding for schools is bottled up awaiting the outcome of — you guessed it — a battle between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic legislative leaders.

Read more here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-schools-illinois-rauner-legislature-edit-jm-20170713-story.html

ILLINOIS GOV. RAUNER, DEMOCRATS PREP FOR NEXT BATTLE: EDUCATION FUNDING

Legal Insurrection, July 13, 2017

Last week, the left in Illinois celebrated when the Senate and House overturned Republican Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of the massive income tax hike and budget bill that concentrated on education. This is the first time in three years the cash-strapped state has a budget.

Read more here: http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/07/illinois-gov-rauner-democrats-prep-for-next-battle-education-funding/

ILLINOIS BUDGET DEAL LEAVES THORNY SCHOOLS QUESTION

Quad-City Times, July 13, 2017

After two years, Illinois finally got a budget last week, but you won’t find anybody in charge of Quad-City area schools breathing a sigh of relief.

Educators are still worried about the prospect that state aid won’t flow from Springfield this fall because — so far, anyway — lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner haven’t been able to come to a deal on how to reform the state’s flawed K-12 funding formula.

Read more here: http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/illinois-budget-deal-leaves-thorny-schools-question/article_0e1e85a2-75fe-528c-9e6a-2bc8a0c3aa88.html

EQUITABLE FUNDING NEEDED FOR ILLINOIS SCHOOLS

ABC News Channel 20, July 13, 2017

The State of Illinois finally has a budget, but there is no education funding bill in place to actually give schools any money yet. Senate Bill 1 is the education funding bill that has gained the most traction so far. It’s an evidence-based funding formula that would give new dollars to the state’s neediest districts first.

 In Springfield on Thursday night, people showed up at a town hall to discuss what SB 1 would mean for Illinois schools.

TOWN HALL SPOTLIGHTS EVIDENCE-BASED SCHOOL FUNDING MODEL

QC Online, July 13, 2017

Although a state budget is in place, language included in the budget will prevent schools from receiving funding unless an evidence-based model is adopted.

Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, talked about Senate Bill 1 and what it would mean for Illinois schools at a town hall event Thursday evening at Glenview Middle School, 3100 7th St. About 40 people were in attendance.

Read more here: http://www.qconline.com/news/local/town-hall-spotlights-evidence-based-school-funding-model/article_570112a3-9e5f-5e78-854b-2b711cefe6e4.html

Media advisory: Education advocates hold Town Hall in East Moline about Senate Bill 1

7/12/17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Education advocates to hold school funding town hall

SPRINGFIELD – East Moline School District will hold a Town Hall meeting on Thursday, July 13, at Glenview Middle School to discuss the current school funding crisis and how it is devastating schools in Illinois. The Town Hall meeting will be discussing the proposed solution, Senate Bill 1, and how it benefits students in rural, urban and suburban districts across Illinois, including East Moline. Senate Bill 1 is an evidence-based school funding model sponsored by Sen. Andy Manar and Rep. William Davis and made a historic pass through the House and Senate on May 31. It will soon be released for the Governor to sign. The Town Hall will share facts about the bill and how it provides East Moline schools with the adequate, equitable, and sustainable funding they need for their students to experience a quality education. This Town Hall event is one of several that will take place in the coming month across the state.

Date and time:  July 13, 2017, 6:00 – 7:30 pm

Agenda: 6p Welcome – Kristin Humphries, Superintendent, East Moline School District 37

6:10p Remarks

6:20p SB1 Presentation – Ralph Martire, Executive Dir., Center for Tax and Budget Accountability

6:45p Q & A with Fix the Formula Illinois Campaign Partners

7:05p Closing Remarks & Call to Action

Where:  Glenview Middle School, 3100 7th St., East Moline, IL 61244

Contacts: Bob Dolgan, Advance Illinois; Cell: 773.447.1980
Anna Schneider, Advance Illinois; Cell: 217.242.9645

About Fix the Formula Illinois

Fix the Formula Illinois is a campaign of Advance Illinois, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Educators 4 Excellence, Equity First, Faith Coalition for the Common Good, Funding Illinois’ Future, Gamaliel of Metro Chicago, High School District Organizations of Illinois, Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education, Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois Association of School Business Officials, Illinois for Educational Equity, Illinois Principals Association, Instituto del Progreso Latino, Latino Policy Forum, League of United Latin American Citizens, Noble Network, Ounce of Prevention Fund, Pilsen Neighbors Community Council, Quad County Urban League, South Suburban Action Conference, Springfield Urban League, Taylorville Citizens for Education, Teach Plus Illinois, Tri-County Urban League, United Congregations of the Metro East, Urban Muslim Minority Alliance and Vision 20/20. Learn more about the Fix the Formula Illinois campaign at www.fundingilfuture.org/fixtheformulaillinois.

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MARSH: SB1 WILL PROVIDE MORE EQUAL EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES

My Web Times, July 12, 2017

The basic idea behind public schooling — that every child, regardless of background, deserves an equal chance at a good education — was put to the test in May when the Illinois Senate passed SB1, a bill designed to reform the state education funding system in a fair and equitable way.

Read more here: http://www.mywebtimes.com/opinion/letters/marsh-sb-will-provide-more-equal-education-opportunities/article_ee9a70ec-5444-57ce-b8a0-a805bc4dd22a.html

SCHOOL ADVOCATES TO QUAD CITIANS: TELL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TO SUPPORT AN OVERRIDE

Peoria Public Radio, July 12, 2017
The fight isn’t over for the East Moline School District after Illinois ended its two-year budget impasse last week.
The new budget requires that allocated funding for public schools only be distributed under a funding formula that accounts for school size and demographics, also known as an evidence-based formula, which schools do not currently have. That means that funding for East Moline and every other school district in Illinois is stuck in Springfield until a new school funding formula is passed into law.

BUDGET DONE, NOW REAL WORK STARTS

The Southern, July 12, 2017

The state will never recover financially until the pension issue is resolved. This massive debt must be paid down and the state must figure out a way to compensate its employees in a fiscally responsible — and legal — manner. There is no way back to fiscal health until the pension issue is resolved.

DESPITE STATE BUDGET, K-12 SCHOOL FUNDING STILL UP IN THE AIR

WBEZ 91.5 Chicago, July 10, 2017

After more than two years, Illinois finally has a budget. In that budget, money has been appropriated for K-12 education, but lawmakers and Governor Bruce Rauner have yet to come to an agreement on a funding formula for how to distribute that money. In late May, legislators passed SB 1, a plan put forward by the Democrats that provides a so-called “evidence-based funding model.”

Read more here: https://www.wbez.org/shows/morning-shift/despite-state-budget-k12-school-funding-still-up-in-the-air/a90c0862-a1b1-4f11-a3a3-8dda1c985a19

WE URGE THE PASSAGE OF A BUDGET THAT FULLY FUNDS K-12

Belleville News-Democrat, July 9, 2017

I am writing in response to Pete Hill’s letter from June 21. SB1 is a win for every school district in our region and in the state. A report released last week by the nonpartisan Center for Tax and Budget Accountability states that SB1 disproportionately aids downstate schools as they are less adequately funded, on average, versus the rest of the state. With the new dollars in SB1, our districts will be able to maintain, sustain and improve the great schools we have.

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article159802939.html

Statement: Fix the Formula Illinois thanks legislators who voted for SB6 and SB9

7/5/17

***The following statement is attributable to the Fix the Formula Illinois campaign. For more, watch video of our Capitol press conference today here.***

We are grateful to the legislators who displayed political courage in recent days by voting for SB6 and SB9 to provide additional revenue to enhance support of schools, especially those that have been historically underfunded. These legislators voted in the best interests of families in their district and all of Illinois. Passing this legislation is the only viable way to ensure schools will open on time this fall, and that students will be where they should—in the classroom. Thank you to the following legislators for doing what is right for kids and putting partisan politics aside.

We urge the House to override the Governor’s vetoes of SB6 and SB9 and enact a full budget for schools this year.

Thank you to the “yes” votes on SB9:

House of Representatives

Rep. Carol Ammons
Rep. Steven Andersson
Rep. Jaime Andrade, Jr.
Rep. Luis Arroyo
Rep. Daniel Beiser
Rep. Terri Bryant
Rep. Kelly Burke
Rep. Daniel Burke
Rep. Kelly Cassidy
Rep. John Cavaletto
Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia
Rep. Deborah Conroy
Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin
Rep. Fred Crespo
Rep. John D’Amico
Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer
Rep. William Davis
Rep. Anthony DeLuca
Rep. Scott Drury
Rep. Marcus Evans
Rep. Sara Feigenholtz
Rep. Laura Fine
Rep. Mary Flowers
Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie
Rep. LaShawn Ford
Rep. Mike Fortner
Rep. Robyn Gabel
Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth
Rep. LaToya Greenwood
Rep. Will Guzzardi
Rep. Norine Hammond
Rep. Sonya Harper
Rep. David Harris
Rep. Greg Harris
Rep. Chad Hays
Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez
Rep. Jay Hoffman
Rep. Frances Hurley
Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez
Rep. Thaddeus Jones
Rep. Stephanie Kifowit
Rep. Lou Lang
Rep. Camille Lilly
Rep. Theresa Mah
Rep. Robert Martwick
Rep. Charles Meier
Rep. Christian Mitchell
Rep. Bill Mitchell
Rep. Anna Moeller
Rep. Elaine Nekritz
Rep. Brandon Phelps
Rep. Reginald Phillips
Rep. Robert Pritchard
Rep. David Reis
Rep. Al Riley
Rep. Robert Rita
Rep. Carol Sente
Rep. Elgie Sims
Rep. Justin Slaughter
Rep. Cynthia Soto
Rep. Juliana Stratton
Rep. Silvana Tabares
Rep. Andre Thapedi
Rep. Arthur Turner
Rep. Michael Unes
Rep. Litesa Wallace
Rep. Lawrence Walsh
Rep. Chris Welch
Rep. Ann Williams
Rep. Kathleen Willis
Rep. Michael Zalewski
Speaker Michael Madigan

Senate

Sen. Omar Aquino
Sen. Scott Bennett
Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant
Sen. Daniel Biss
Sen. Melinda Bush
Sen. Cristina Castro
Sen. James Clayborne
Sen. Jacqueline Collins
Sen. Bill Cunningham
Sen. William Haine
Sen. Michael Hastings
Sen. Linda Holmes
Sen. Mattie Hunter
Sen. Toi Hutchinson
Sen. Emil Jones
Sen. David Koehler
Sen. Steven Landek
Sen. Kimberly Lightford
Sen. Terry Link
Sen. Andy Manar
Sen. Iris Martinez
Sen. Pat McGuire
Sen. John Mulroe
Sen. Antonio Munoz
Sen. Laura Murphy
Sen. Kwame Raoul
Sen. Dale Righter
Sen. Martin Sandoval
Sen. Ira Silverstein
Sen. Steve Stadelman
Sen. Heather Steans
Sen. Donne Trotter
Sen. Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins
President John Cullerton

Statement on Senate’s passage of SB6 and SB9

7/4/17

Statement from the Fix the Formula Illinois campaign on Senate’s passage of SB6 and SB9

After two years without a budget that protects schools, the General Assembly has now passed a full budget on a bipartisan basis that provides security for our schools and students. The budget includes $350 million in additional revenue to better support schools, especially those that have been historically underfunded.  We urge the Governor to swiftly sign these bills into law so that families can spend the remaining weeks of summer knowing that school will start on time and so that students will be where they should be in the fall—in the classroom. As part of this package, the Governor should also sign SB1, the more equitable school funding formula that provides funding to the neediest districts first and closes funding gaps between low-income and wealthier districts.

We are grateful to the members of the House and Senate who took politically courageous votes in recent days to support a full budget.

About Fix the Formula Illinois

Fix the Formula Illinois is a campaign of Advance Illinois, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Educators 4 Excellence, Equity First, Faith Coalition for the Common Good, Funding Illinois’ Future, Gamaliel of Illinois, Gamaliel of Metro Chicago, High School District Organizations of Illinois, Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education, Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois Association of School Business Officials, Illinois for Educational Equity, Illinois Principals Association, Instituto del Progreso Latino, Latino Policy Forum, League of United Latin American Citizens, Noble Network, Ounce of Prevention Fund, Pilsen Neighbors Community Council, Quad County Urban League, South Suburban Action Conference, Springfield Urban League, Taylorville Citizens for Education, Teach Plus Illinois, Tri-County Urban League, United Congregations of the Metro East, Urban Muslim Minority Alliance and Vision 20/20.

Dear Illinois: We value students and children everywhere. End the budget impasse today.

July 2, 2017

Dear Illinois:

We’re writing you today as a coalition of parents, civil rights organizations, superintendents and teachers who have been advocating for a fix to the state’s school funding formula for years. The state is on the verge of ending an era of inequitable funding in Illinois and a three-year budget impasse if members of the Illinois General Assembly vote for the comprehensive, compromise, budget package in Senate Bill 6 and Senate Bill 9 and the Governor signs Senate Bill 1.

Senate Bill 1 fixes the state’s broken funding formula and is for us, all of us. It does so in a way that ties taxpayer investment in education to the evidence of what works to enhance student achievement. We’re presenting our perspective, with our biases, straight up, not only to share the facts about Senate Bill 1 but also to share information about our values—values that we think Illinoisans share.

We value children and students everywhere. Children shouldn’t bear the burden of the mistakes of the past. That means no schools should lose money. None. That means we should invest in all our students.

And we must support our most vulnerable students.

We believe zip codes shouldn’t determine the quality of a child’s education, and property-poor areas shouldn’t be punished for being poor.

We’re all in this together. All kids in Illinois should be in the same boat and adults are captaining the ship.

We can have a new formula when schools open in August, if the Governor signs Senate Bill 1. And we can fund our schools if the General Assembly passes the budget package today. Let’s not stop now. We can put a “W” in everyone’s column if we do this now.

We urge every member of the General Assembly to vote their values—vote in support of kids and pass the budget package.

Sincerely,
Dr. Brent Clark, Executive Director, Illinois Association of School Administrators
Dr. Jennifer Garrison, Superintendent, Sandoval School District 501
Dr. Michael A. Jacoby, Executive Director, Illinois Association of School Business Officials
Ralph Martire, Executive Director, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability
Ginger Ostro, Executive Director, Advance Illinois
Tony Sanders, CEO, School District U-46

Fix the Formula Illinois and Funding Illinois’ Future

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: SUPERINTENDENT URGES FULL FUNDING OF SCHOOLS

Chicago Tribune, June 29, 2017

Our state’s broken school funding formula, combined with the state budget crisis, leave school districts wondering if they will be able to keep their doors open through all of the 2017-2018 school year. Despite this dire situation, we have the start of a solution. The new school funding bill, SB1, is a win for our students…

Read more here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/opinion/ct-sta-letters-to-the-editor-st-0630-20170629-story.html

SUPERINTENDENTS GATHER TO DISCUSS STATE FUNDING FOR ILLINOIS SCHOOLS

Fox 2 Now, June 28, 2017

Educators from around southern Illinois met Wednesday night to discuss the future of funding for education in the state.

Most people at the meeting think the answer to the problem is Senate Bill 1 which has passed the House and the Senate and is currently headed to the Governor’s desk.

Read more here: http://fox2now.com/2017/06/28/superintendents-gather-to-discuss-state-funding-for-illinois-schools/

UNDERSTANDING SENATE BILL 1

WAND-TV, June 28, 2017

One teacher from Warrensburg-Latham district, Rebecca Wattleworth said, “by using this formula everybody is going to win, there’s not one district in Illinois that’s going to lose money which is the big thing we really need to be able to have that equitable funding system and by not losing, districts are going to be able to make plans for the future.”

Read more here: http://www.wandtv.com/story/35774955/understanding-senate-bill-1

EDUCATION OF STATE’S CHILDREN HARMED WITH PROPERTY TAX FREEZE

The State Journal-Register, June 22, 2017

The best-case scenario under budget plans currently being discussed in the Capitol would be, if legislators reach a budget compromise, an increase to public schools of $250 million to $300 million. Statewide in the first year, it is estimated that a property tax freeze would reduce the amount of local school district budgets by twice that amount, with a compounding effect each year. The bottom line is that school districts and children would experience a net loss of funding.

Read more here: http://www.sj-r.com/opinion/20170622/point-education-of-states-children-harmed-with-property-tax-freeze

LETTER: SENATE BILL 1 IS THE BEST CHOICE

The State Journal-Register, June 22, 2017

As members of the Faith Coalition for the Common Good and as downstaters our entire lives, we would hope Gov. Bruce Rauner and his Secretary of Education Beth Purvis would remember President Abraham Lincoln’s stirring words: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” The state of Illinois is our house, one which is much stronger when it works for all the people who live in it, and the recently passed bill on education funding reform, Senate Bill 1, does just that. We urge the governor to support it.

Read more here: http://www.sj-r.com/opinion/20170622/letter-senate-bill-1-is-best-choice

NOBLE CHARTER SCHOOLS’ CHIEF URGES RAUNER TO SIGN FUNDING REFORM BILL

Chicago Sun-Times, June 21, 2017

Under SB 1, no school district in Illinois loses money. In fact, nearly every district will receive an increase in funding from the state. Sensibly, the districts that are furthest from receiving adequate funding for their students will get the biggest increase in state funds. The additional funding ranges from an additional $900 per pupil in Waukegan to $193 per pupil in Chicago to $1 per pupil in Lake Forest, based on the needs in each district — such as the number of students living in poverty.

Indeed, Chicago is far from the top of the list when it comes to the increases in state funds under SB 1. This is not a Chicago bailout. It is good public policy.

Read more here: http://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/noble-charter-schools-chief-urges-rauner-to-sign-funding-reform-bill/

ILLINOIS EQUITABLE EDUCATION LEGISLATION AWAITS GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

Chicago Defender, June 21, 2017

State Rep. Will Davis (Dist. 30th), one of the chief sponsors of the bill in the house, said he’s been advocating for equitable funding in education since his first term in office. He called the bill a “vital first step” toward providing every school district the resources it needs to educate their students. He recognized too that with the eventual signing of the bill by the governor, proper funding will be essential for its success. He said accompanying bills along with the governor’s support will be pivotal.

“If [Rauner] feels like he’s not ready to support some of the other spending areas, we certainly hope he is ready to support necessary dollars in K-12,” said Davis.

Read more here: https://chicagodefender.com/2017/06/21/illinois-equitable-education-legislation-awaits-governors-signature/

SUBURBAN SCHOOLS SAY CUTS, CLOSINGS LOOM WITHOUT STATE BUDGET BY JULY 1

Daily Herald, June 21, 2017

Suburban schools officials say they are making plans to spend down reserves, borrow and even close schools if Illinois lawmakers don’t pass an education budget in the next 10 days.

The General Assembly meets in special session beginning today in Springfield to try to do what it hasn’t done since 2014: Pass a budget.

Read more here: http://www.dailyherald.com/news/20170621/suburban-schools-say-cuts-closings-loom-without-state-budget-by-july-1-

IF GOV. RAUNER VETOES SCHOOL FINANCE REFORM, DOWNSTATE STUDENTS STAND TO LOSE DISPROPORTIONATELY

Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, June 21, 2017

But if the governor vetoes SB1, those downstate schools won’t see that funding. In other words, a veto of the supposed “Chicago bailout” will disproportionately hurt students far outside the Chicago area, from Rock Island to Belleville.

Read more here: https://budgetblog.ctbaonline.org/if-gov-rauner-vetoes-school-finance-reform-downstate-students-stand-to-lose-disproportionately-331cafddab0e

ILLINOIS’ BILL BACKLOG HAS STATE MORE THAN $1 BILLION BEHIND IN PAYMENTS TO SCHOOLS

Chicago Tribune, June 17, 2017

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner often points out that despite the state budget impasse, elementary and high schools are better off than when he took office, thanks to a $750 million surge in state funding.

Left unsaid: The record-setting budget stalemate means the state is more than $1 billion behind in paying school districts the money it promised for the school year that ends this month.

Read more here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-illinois-education-funding-budget-impasse-met-20170618-story.html

In the fight to reform funding, IIlinois ‘school districts are pawns in a serious political game’

Peoria Journal Star, June 15, 2017

“For us, this is not a Republican versus Democrat issue and not a downstate versus Chicago fight. The real enemy is the status quo — we have to correct the current unfair system,” said Mike Chamness, spokesman for the Illinois Association of School Administrators. “It would be a shame to get this close to closing the equity gap in our public schools only to revert back to a broken system because of a political fight.”

Read more here: http://www.pjstar.com/news/20170615/in-fight-to-reform-funding-iilinois-school-districts-are-pawns-in-serious-political-game

SIGN SB1 FOR ILLINOIS’ DIVERSE LEARNERS

Breeze-Courier, June 13, 2017 

LTE: Livingston, Moats

Dear Editor,

Dumping more money into a school funding formula that’s broken is not an efficient way to spend taxpayer dollars nor is it a beneficial way to better the education of our students.

Students in all districts across our state have unique needs. Some districts have a higher population of low-income students, while others enroll a larger percentage of special education students and many districts have experienced an influx of English learners over the last several years. Illinois is an incredibly diverse state with an incredible mix of rural and urban school districts.

The point is we can’t keep putting money into a formula that doesn’t account for these differing needs of Illinois’ diverse school districts.

We know that these types of students require additional resources to have the best academic outcomes. That is the main focus of the new funding bill, SB1. It uses 27 evidence-based elements to meet the individual needs of all types of learners. Illinois is currently the worst in the nation at funding kids’ education fairly because it gives kids in poverty only .81 cents compared to every $1 dollar it gives a wealthier student. SB1 would change that by driving dollars to the neediest districts first. Better yet, not a single district will lose money next school year.

We urge Governor Rauner to sign SB1 and work to pass a budget to fully fund the State of Illinois.

Sincerely,

Melisa Livingston & Jenny Moats

Citizens for Education, Taylorville, IL

Article published by the Breeze-Courier in Taylorville, IL. Subscribe here: http://breezecourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=32&SubSectionID=340

HOW MUCH FUNDING WOULD YOUR DISTRICT GAIN UNDER SB 1?

Reboot Illinois, June 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.

Read more here: https://rebootillinois.com/2017/06/12/funding-change-school-districts-sb-1/

PURVIS: RAUNER LIKES 90% OF SCHOOL FUNDING REFORM BILL BUT WILL VETO

The State Journal-Register, June 11, 2017

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s education adviser, Beth Purvis, said the governor supports 90 percent of the education funding reform bill that was passed by the legislature this spring, but would still veto it because it is too generous to Chicago Public Schools.

A key proponent of the bill, state Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, fired back at the governor’s office, saying, “Most rational people would take 90 percent and call it a win.”

Read more here: http://www.sj-r.com/news/20170611/purvis-rauner-likes-90-of-school-funding-reform-bill-but-will-veto

FAIR SCHOOL FUNDING FOR ILLINOIS IS NOT A “CPS BAILOUT”

Chicago Now, June 10, 2017

Two weeks ago, the Illinois Senate passed a long overdue bill to provide equitable funding to all Illinois public schools.  Senate Bill 1 would vastly improve upon the current funding formula which has created the largest gap in our nation in school spending between school districts that serve the wealthy and districts that serve the poor.

Read more here: http://www.chicagonow.com/triple-threat/2017/06/fair-school-funding-for-illinois-is-not-a-cps-bailout/

AREA EDUCATORS SUPPORT SCHOOL FUNDING BILL

WSIL-TV 3 News, June 9, 2017

“At this moment, SB1 is the only thing on the table and the only thing that’s been passed by the legislators, so to me it’s needed,” said Harrisburg CUSD #3 superintendent Mike Gauch.

The new formula would provide state funding based on each district’s needs and the amount of local tax it collects.

Each district would get a base amount from the state, but poorer districts would also get extra.

Read more here: http://www.wsiltv.com/story/35632187/area-educators-support-school-funding-reform-bill

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS APPROVE NEW PUBLIC SCHOOLS FUNDING FORMULA

CBS Chicago, June 1, 2017

For the third year in a row, Illinois lawmakers ended their spring session without approving a budget, but they did approve an overhaul of the way the state doles out money for public schools.

The school funding reform measure could benefit the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools, but the legislation faces an uncertain future when it reaches Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk, as Republicans have called it an unfair bailout of CPS.

Read more here: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2017/06/01/illinois-lawmakers-public-schools-education-funding-formula/

Statement on passage of school funding reform

Statement: Passage of school funding reform is a historic triumph for students in Illinois 5.31.17

The General Assembly’s passage of SB1 tonight is a historic triumph for students and ends an era of Illinois having the most inequitable school funding system in the nation.

Thank you to everyone who voted for this bill. We are grateful to Representative Will Davis, Senator Andy Manar and Senator Kimberly Lightford for their leadership. We also are grateful to many other members of the General Assembly for their longtime support of school funding reform, including Representative Robert Pritchard. Congratulations to the thousands of educators, parents and students who have long advocated for equitable school funding. This is a victory for students in every school, every district and every county in Illinois.

We urge the Governor to sign this bill.

About Fix the Formula Illinois 

Fix the Formula Illinois is a campaign of Advance Illinois, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Chicago Urban League, Educators 4 Excellence, Equity First, Funding Illinois’ Future, High School District Organizations of Illinois, Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois Association of School Business Officials, Illinois for Educational Equity, Illinois Principals Association, League of United Latin American Citizens, Teach Plus Illinois, and Vision 20/20. Follow #fixtheformula on Twitter or visit www.fundingilfuture.org.

 

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Fix the Formula Illinois

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Statement on passage of SB1 Amendment 1 out of House Committee

Statement on passage of SB1 Amendment 1 out of House Appropriations-Elementary & Secondary Education Committee 5.30.17

SB1 Amendment 1 passing out of Committee on a bipartisan vote tonight is a significant victory for students across Illinois, taking into account individual student needs, closing gaps between low-income and wealthier students, and ensuring that no district loses money. SB1 accounts for local ability to pay and offers property tax relief to high-tax districts, while delivering the largest share of new funds to districts furthest from adequate funding.

 

SB1 is a win for every student, every district and every county in Illinois. We look forward to the House’s vote on this bill tomorrow and applaud the House Committee and sponsor Rep. Will Davis for their action.

 

Fix the Formula Illinois

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Statement on next steps toward school funding reform

We remain closer to funding reform than ever. No district loses under SB1 and HB2808. Rural, suburban and urban districts need an equitable formula, and under these bills Chicago is treated like other districts.

We continue to urge bicameral, bipartisan support on bills that improve equity, recognize individual student needs, account for local ability to pay, and close gaps between low-income and wealthier students and keep them closed.

Now is the time to pass these bills.

Fix the Formula Illinois

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Statement on Senate passage of SB1 and House Committee approval of Amendment 1 to HB2808

Statement on Senate passage of SB1 and House Committee approval of Amendment 1 to HB2808

Today’s actions in the Senate and House confirm momentum is building toward fixing our state’s long-broken school funding system this legislative session. The passage today of SB1 is a victory for low-income students across the state and a monumental step forward to a more equitable school funding system in Illinois. HB2808 passed out of committee with bipartisan support, another sign that the state is coalescing around a single funding solution.

Both bills adopt the equity principles we’ve long advocated for: to recognize individual student needs, account for local ability to pay, and close gaps between low-income and wealthier students and keep them closed. Under these bills, no school district loses money, class sizes become smaller for low-income students and transparency of schools is increased. Both bills reflect many of the recommendations of the Governor’s School Funding Reform Commission.

We have never been this close. Now is the time to pass legislation that will ensure every student in Illinois has adequate and fair resources, no matter their zip code. We ask the Senate and House to continue to collaborate and find a bipartisan, bicameral agreement before May 31. Illinois students need a funding fix that will be implemented next school year.

Fix the Formula Illinois

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Statement on the Evidence Based Model (As proposed by SB1 SA3 and SB1124 SA1)

Statement on the Evidence Based Model (As proposed by SB1 SA3 and SB1124 SA1)

May 5, 2017

We applaud Senate Republicans and Democrats for their leadership in pushing forward new school funding reform legislation and are encouraged by the support of the Evidence-Based Model to adequately and equitably fund Illinois’ public schools. Today’s Subject Matter Hearing demonstrates the Senate’s commitment to pass a solution to finally replace our broken school funding system. As members of the Fix the Formula campaign shared in today’s hearing, both bills have their own merit, but there are also ways to increase equity within each to better serve all students across the state. 

 

Illinois must provide adequate and equitable funding for its neediest students while guaranteeing that no district loses money. We stand by our equity principles and will support legislation that recognizes individual student needs, takes into account local ability to pay and closes funding gaps between low-income students and their wealthier peers.  

 

We’re heartened by today’s hearing, as well as by the bipartisan efforts in the House to pass funding reform this year. As we’ve heard in dozens of house meetings and town halls across the state in recent weeks, we cannot let zip codes determine a student’s quality of education. We look forward to passing bipartisan, bicameral legislation that gives all students, across all communities in Illinois, the high-quality education they deserve. 

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Response to Pass Illinois’ Budget Campaign

We are heartened by the work of more than 390 Illinois superintendents in their grassroots statewide initiative to “Pass Illinois’ Budget.” These superintendents represent 1.3 million students across the state—in other words, 65% of all public school students in Illinois from Carbondale to Rockford. We stand behind their goals to immediately pass a state budget, to fix the school funding formula, and to pay school districts what they are owed. We continue to urge the General Assembly to adopt an adequate and equitable funding system this spring. The passing of a state budget along with an adequate and fair funding model is our best opportunity in giving all Illinois students the quality education they deserve.

Superintendents push for more equitable school funding formula in Illinois

WPSD, April 19, 2017

Today in a classroom at Crab Orchard High School,  local superintendents and teachers conducted a town hall meeting to give the public a close look at this proposed new funding method for schools; a method which proponents say will close the often huge gap between wealthy school districts and poor one.

Read more here: http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/story/35193503/superintendents-push-for-more-equitable-school-funding-formula-in-illinois

PRESS RELEASE: Statewide series of town halls to address school funding reform

Educators, families and legislators to discuss impacts of inequitable funding

CHICAGO (April 17, 2017) – Education stakeholders are coming together for regional town hall conversations across the state this week as momentum builds toward passing school funding reform legislation this spring. Superintendents, teachers and families are saying their students cannot wait any longer for a fix to Illinois’ funding system—the most unfair funding system in the nation according to The Education Trust. The town halls will include remarks from superintendents, legislators and policy experts and an opportunity for audience Q&A.

Currently, Illinois’ funding formula is inequitable, spending just 81 cents on a low-income student for every dollar it spends on a non-low-income student. One proposed funding bill, HB2808, fixes Illinois’ 20-year-old funding system and provides a fair solution for all students. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Will Davis, passed the House Appropriations Committee in early April with bipartisan support. It presents an evidence-based funding model that ensures no school district loses money, neediest districts receive new funding first, takes local resources into account, and closes funding gaps between low-income and wealthier districts and keeps them closed over time.

Find the statewide schedule of Town Hall events here: http://www.advanceillinois.org/2017/04/18/press-release-statewide-series-town-halls-address-school-funding-reform/ 
About Fix the Formula Illinois

Fix the Formula Illinois is a campaign of Advance Illinois, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Educators 4 Excellence, Equity First, Funding Illinois’ Future, High School District Organizations of Illinois, Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois Association of School Business Officials, Illinois Principals Association, League of United Latin American Citizens, Teach Plus Illinois and Vision 20/20.
Follow #fixtheformula on Twitter or visit www.fundingilfuture.org to receive updates about the campaign.

Statement on Senator Barickman’s New School Funding Legislation

April 13, 2017

We commend Senator Barickman for his continuing commitment to fix Illinois inequitable school funding system—one that has shortchanged low-income students for the past 20 years. The April 13 announcement of Senator Barickman’s new evidence based school funding legislation is a step toward finding a bipartisan, bicameral solution this spring session. We look forward to reviewing the bill and are hopeful that it is consistent with our core equity principles as well as the framework outlined by the Governor’s School Funding Reform Commission.

Press Release: Passage of HB2808 out of House committee is a victory for low-income students

April 3, 2017

The bipartisan passage of HB2808 out of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Appropriations Committee yesterday was a monumental victory for low-income children across Illinois. The Committee voted 15-1 to pass the bill, which would reform the state’s broken school funding formula, closing gaps with wealthier districts.

Read full release here: http://www.advanceillinois.org/2017/04/18/passage-hb2808-house-committee-victory-low-income-students/ 

Statement on HB2808 Passing Out of Committee

March 30, 2017

The bipartisan passage of HB2808 out of committee is a significant victory for low-income students across Illinois and another step toward reforming Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation school funding formula. HB2808 would drive dollars to needy districts all across the state while accounting for their local ability to pay. HB2808 provides a sound, evidence-based approach for achieving adequacy and equity and forms the basis for a bipartisan bill to be sent to the Governor’s desk later this spring. We will continue to rally around a solution that holds districts harmless, provides new dollars to the neediest districts first, accounts for local ability to pay and closes gaps between low-income students and their wealthier peers.

We thank Rep. Will Davis and co-sponsors Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia and Rep. Robert Pritchard for their leadership on HB2808. We remain encouraged by the conversations led by the bipartisan House Education Task Force. In the Senate, SB1 is momentum toward an equitable formula as well. For too long, Illinois students have struggled due to inadequate and inequitable funding. We cannot wait another year for change and call on the General Assembly to swiftly pass school funding reform.

Fix the Formula Illinois is a campaign of Advance Illinois, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Educators 4 Excellence, Equity First, Funding Illinois’ Future, High School District Organizations of Illinois, Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois Association of School Business Officials, Illinois Principals Association, League of United Latin American Citizens, Teach Plus Illinois and Vision 20/20.

Fix the Formula Illinois

 

Education advocacy organizations announce new campaign in effort to fix school funding formula

March 15, 2017

For too long, Illinois has ranked as worst-in-the-nation in providing resources for low-income school districts. In the weeks ahead, we’ll be launching a collaborative, public effort to build momentum across communities in Illinois. We are coming together under the mantle of “Fix the Formula Illinois” to reform the state’s inadequate and inequitable funding system during this session of the General Assembly.

Our goal is to ensure that each chamber and each party in the General Assembly, as well as the Governor, keep meaningful education funding reform at the top of their agenda. Illinois state government has the responsibility to provide an adequate and equitable education to every child who attends public school in every community across Illinois. We cannot let another year pass as many of our school districts—and students—struggle due to inadequate and inequitable funding. We believe that a collective effort toward fixing the formula and providing additional funding for education offers the best opportunity to address this long-standing challenge, and finally provide schools and students in Illinois the resources necessary to provide the high-quality education they deserve.

We are pleased that Rep. Will Davis introduced HB2808, which is an evidence-based funding model for achieving adequacy and equity. This provides a strong basis for a new funding formula and a starting point for further discussion. We thank additional chief co-sponsors Rep. Robert Pritchard and Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia for their support of the bill.  We are hopeful that the House Education Task Force, established by Speaker Michael Madigan, will build on the recommendations of the Governor’s School Funding Reform Commission.  We will continue to rally around principles derived from an evidence-based approach, such as a solid hold harmless and an adequacy target for each district based on research that supports best practice. These are the foundational principles that will lead to equity and adequacy, whether in HB2808, another House bill, or as part of a Senate bill that emerges from the Grand Bargain or stands on its own.

We are heartened by the work of our organizational members, legislative leaders, legislators, and school funding reform commission members. Now is the time to take action and fix the formula this year.

[updated] Fix the Formula Illinois is a campaign of Advance Illinois, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Educators 4 Excellence, Equity First, Faith Coalition for the Common Good, Funding Illinois’ Future, Gamaliel of Metro Chicago, High School District Organizations of Illinois, Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education, Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois Association of School Business Officials, Illinois for Educational Equity, Illinois Principals Association, Instituto del Progreso Latino, Latino Policy Forum, League of United Latin American Citizens, Noble Network, Ounce of Prevention Fund, Pilsen Neighbors Community Council, Quad County Urban League, South Suburban Action Conference, Springfield Urban League, Taylorville Citizens for Education, Teach Plus Illinois, Tri-County Urban League, United Congregations of the Metro East, Urban Muslim Minority Alliance and Vision 20/20.

Follow #fixtheformula on Twitter to receive updates about the campaign

Groups work toward reforming school funding

The Southern, March 12, 2017

Group is advocating for passage of three bills before the Illinois legislature. Two bills are basically identical and would reduce the TRS federal funds rate to the normal costs of teacher pensions. They SB 195 and HB 656. The other bill, SB 865, would require school report cards to include information on the total amount the district spends on teacher pensions.

Read more here: http://thesouthern.com/news/local/groups-work-toward-reforming-school-funding/article_91c783eb-5866-517b-9e7d-efe7ab5a3599.html