Recent articles and editorials discussing Illinois school funding reform:

Statement urging the Governor to sign SB444

The Fix the Formula campaign and the Funding Illinois’ Future coalition urge the Governor to sign Senate Bill 444, which clarifies a minor technical error in SB1947, Illinois’ historic school funding overhaul. In August, SB1947 ended an era of the state having the most inequitable school funding system in the nation.

With any major legislation there are technicalities that need clarification so that the language matches the intent of the law. We support SB444 because the clarification meets our core principles as a coalition and preserves the intent of SB1947, which drives dollars to the neediest districts, those that have the fewest local resources and are the least well-funded.

We urge the Governor to sign SB444 swiftly so that the Illinois State Board of Education can start to disburse funding under the new formula.

 

About Fix the Formula Illinois

Fix the Formula Illinois is a campaign of Advance Illinois, Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools, 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 Parent Teacher Association, 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 and the Funding Illinois’ Future coalition at http://fundingilfuture.org/about/.

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Statement on the signing of new school funding formula into law

8/31/17

We are proud to have worked with thousands of advocates, educators, community leaders and parents toward this moment: a fair school funding formula is now law in Illinois. Along the way, we’ve seen communities throughout the state come together toward making public education equitable for all kids. While it will take years before we achieve funding equity and adequacy in Illinois, we now have a path forward.

A special thank you to all of the champions in the General Assembly who have urged a fix to the school funding formula in recent years and in many previous versions of legislation. Today is a historic win for students throughout the state.

About Fix the Formula Illinois
Fix the Formula Illinois is a campaign of Advance Illinois, Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools, 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 Parent Teacher Association, 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.

Statement on passage of SB1947 compromise

8/29/17

Statement on passage of SB1947 compromise

The SB1947 compromise includes the SB1 provisions we have been fighting for, taking into account student needs and local property wealth, closing funding gaps and keeping them closed, and providing a long-term stable funding system that helps all districts achieve adequate funding.

Today is another step forward for equitable school funding in Illinois. We are a signature away from fixing a funding formula that has shortchanged low-income students for decades. We urge the Governor to sign this bill swiftly.

About Fix the Formula Illinois
Fix the Formula Illinois is a campaign of Advance Illinois, Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools, 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 Parent Teacher Association, 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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Statement on House passage of SB1947 compromise

8/28/17

Statement on House passage of SB1947 compromise

For the past four years, superintendents, teachers and civil rights leaders have come together to fight for a formula that ensures a student’s zip code no longer determines the school resources available. We have fought for a system that: takes into account student needs and local property wealth, closes funding gaps and keeps them closed, and provides a long-term stable funding system that helps all districts achieve adequate funding.

The House’s passage of a compromise in SB1947 moves Illinois a step closer to a more equitable school funding system and historic reform. SB1947 includes the evidence-based model from SB1 with few modifications.

We call on our legislators to remain in Springfield until an evidence-based school funding formula becomes law.

About Fix the Formula Illinois
Fix the Formula Illinois is a campaign of Advance Illinois, Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools, 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 Parent Teacher Association, 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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Statement on Potential Deal on School Funding Reform

The Funding Illinois’ Future Coalition and Fix The Formula campaign are encouraged by the potential of an agreement on school funding reform. We hope that Illinois is on the verge of a historic change that will usher in an equitable school funding system with a path to adequacy. We have not seen any details on a deal and want to ensure it reflects our core principles: any school funding reform must take into account student needs and local resources; close gaps based on income and property wealth and keep them closed; be a long-term stable solution that will bring all districts to adequate funding based on evidence-based practices; and ensure no district loses funding.

We remain committed to Senate Bill 1 and we will remain vigilant until an equitable and adequate school funding system is law in Illinois.

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Under the Dome Podcast: Is a school funding deal close?

The State Journal-Register, August 24, 2017

Doug, Bernie and Angie talk about the latest Statehouse news, including some possible light at the end of the education funding tunnel, the state’s bill backlog, Gov. Rauner’s plan to sign an immigration-related bill, the Rauner administration’s rough response to a cartoon that some said was racist and Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, R-Leland Grove, saying she’s not running for re-election to the Illinois House.

Read more here: http://www.sj-r.com/news/20170824/under-dome-podcast-is-school-funding-deal-close

Statement on cancelation of Wednesday’s House override vote

8/22/17

We are hopeful that serious negotiations by legislative Leaders on Senate Bill 1 are bringing us closer to a resolution on fair school funding. This is a sign of progress in the fight to bring equity and fairness to all students in Illinois and we hope these discussions continue.

However, the clock is ticking for schools who have already missed their first two state aid payments and for the Illinois House of Representatives to act on SB1. We continue to stand firm that our decades old funding formula needs to be fixed now.

We demand an agreement or override be reached before the 15 day deadline on Tuesday, August 29.

 

 

About Fix the Formula Illinois

Fix the Formula Illinois is a campaign of Advance Illinois, Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools, 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 Parent Teacher Association, 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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*** UPDATED x1 – Pritzker responds *** Moody’s issues warning on school funding impasse

Capital Fax, August 17, 2017

After Bruce Rauner’s school funding veto caused the state to miss its first payment to public schools across the state, Moody’s warns that dozens of schools may see “deteriorated credit within months.” The ratings agency says Rauner’s failure on school funding leaves public schools with a “credit negative” outlook, meaning downgrades could be right around the corner starting with low-income and high-poverty districts.

Read more here: https://capitolfax.com/2017/08/17/moodys-issues-warning-on-school-funding-impasse/

Override or underpaid: Local school districts optimistic regarding future of SB1

RiverBender, August 16, 2017

The Illinois Senate voted to override Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1 (SB1) Sunday. The bill, which is the first evidence-based school funding reform to pass both houses of the Illinois General Assembly in six years, was sent back to the General Assembly with an amendatory veto from Rauner to remove a “bailout” for the Chicago Public School system.

Read more here: https://www.riverbender.com/articles/details/override-or-underpaid-local-school-districts-optimistic-regarding-future-of-sb1-22749.cfm

Area Superintendents discuss school funding crisis at town hall in Carrollton

WLDS Radio, August 15, 2017

A sizeable crowd gathered at Carrollton Grade School last night for a town hall to discuss Illinois’s ongoing school funding issues.

Last night’s meeting was organized by Superintendents Dr. Kerry Cox from Carrollton, Dr. Kevin Bowman of Greenfield, Mr. Mark Scott from North Greene and Superintendent Brad Skertich of Southwestern, along with representatives from the group Advance Illinois.

Read more here: http://wlds.com/news/area-superintendents-discuss-school-funding-crisis-at-town-hall-in-carrollton/

Gov’s Biggest Winner Opposes His School Funding Plan

NPR Illinois, August 15, 2017

Gov. Bruce Rauner has been drumming up opposition to the Democrats’ new school funding plan, known as Senate Bill 1, by touting how much more money each district would receive under his plan. He points to Elgin U-46, the state’s second largest school district, as the biggest winner: That northwest suburban district would gain about $15 million if lawmakers approve Rauner’s amendatory veto.

So that district’s CEO, Tony Sanders, must be rooting for Rauner’s plan, right?

Wrong.

Read more here: http://nprillinois.org/post/govs-biggest-winner-opposes-his-school-funding-plan#stream/0

Senate Overrides Gov’s School Funding Veto

NPR Illinois, August 14, 2017

The Illinois State Senate spent Sunday in session, where Senators voted 38 to 19 to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the new school funding bill. The override wasn’t a surprise, because this new evidence-based funding plan had originally cleared the Senate with a veto-proof majority. The House, however, represents a higher hurdle, where Democrats will need Republicans to vote with them. That vote is scheduled for Wednesday.

Read more here: http://nprillinois.org/post/senate-overrides-govs-school-funding-veto#stream/0

Statement on Senate override of SB1 amendatory veto

8/13/17

We applaud the members of the Senate who took a dramatic step forward for today’s students and students of future generations by overriding the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1 and rejecting changes that would deepen inequity in school districts for years to come. Now the House must override the Governor’s veto and take this historic opportunity to make SB1 law in order to ensure an equitable funding system moving forward.

For the last four years, superintendents, school board members, civil rights leaders, teachers and everyday Illinoisans have called for the General Assembly to fix the nation’s worst school funding formula. SB1 would drive dollars to the neediest districts first while taking into account the evidence of what works in the classroom. Superintendents from a cross-section of districts remain unified in support of SB1, from Lake County to Winnebago County in the north to Fayette County and Jackson County in the south, all demanding a fix to the formula.

We want to thank the members of the Senate who voted in favor of schoolchildren and our schools today.

Again, we call on the House to take brave bipartisan action and override the amendatory veto of SB1.

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 Parent Teacher Association, 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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Statement on ISBE model of SB1 amendatory veto

8/12/17

The Fix the Formula campaign and Funding Illinois’ Future coalition stand united in our support of Senate Bill 1 and urge the General Assembly to override the Governor’s amendatory veto this week.

The ISBE model released today confirms that the Governor’s AV attacks the core of the evidence-based model. Districts should not be misled by reports of additional dollars this year. The very definition of adequate funding and the amount the state will contribute over time diminishes under the AV.

Our preliminary analysis finds that the AV will result in deeper inequity in the following ways:

1. SB1 recognizes individual student needs, the AV does not. Under the AV, the formula no longer keeps pace with inflation, regional differences in wages, or pension contributions. The ISBE data shows that $176 million in higher regional wage costs are now ignored by the model; yet school districts have to pay market wages. Eliminating inflationary adjustments and pension contributions are long-term impacts that do not show up in the one-year ISBE model. Districts will be worse off in the long-run under the AV.

2. SB1 accounts for local ability to pay, the AV does not. According to our preliminary review of the ISBE model, 574 districts have additional property wealth counted under the AV from changes to tax caps and TIF accounting. This makes these districts look better funded by local property taxes than they actually are, impacting their eligibility for state aid.

3. SB1 provides a stable, sustainable system that gets all districts to adequacy over time. The AV removes pension cost shift protections for all districts and doesn’t account for Chicago legacy pension payments. These are real costs that divert dollars from the classroom.

4. Under SB1, no district loses money. The veto cuts more than $200 million from students in Chicago, approximately $550 per pupil. This is what allows other students across the state to gain dollars. Our principle stands: We do not support taking money from students in one area to redistribute to others. The veto also has another future impact: it cuts funding from districts that lose enrollment starting in the 2020-2021 school year, even if the district hasn’t reached adequate funding.

5. SB1 begins to close gaps between low-income and wealthier students. The AV removes protections in the event the system is underfunded, another way the long-term consequences overshadow any short-term gain.

Now more than ever we call on the General Assembly to take brave bipartisan action to override the amendatory veto of SB1.

SB1, as passed, remains the only proposal that is aligned with our values and meets our principles.

Correction: Statement updated 8/15/17 to reflect regionalization impact as $176 million.

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 Parent Teacher Association, 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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Taxes, school funding big topics at legislator meeting in Aurora

Chicago Tribune, August 12, 2017

A meeting in Aurora offered an opportunity to explore some of the critical issues affecting Illinois citizens as state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit (D-Oswego) held a three-hour informational meeting called “What Is Really Happening In Springfield?” at Waubonsie Valley High School Saturday.

Read more here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/aurora-beacon-news/news/ct-abn-state-meeting-aurora-st-0814-20170812-story.html

Kifowit invites residents to discussion on recent state news

Kendall County Now, August 11, 2017

State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, will meet with local residents to discuss the latest on the state budget, education funding and other major issues facing the state at a “What Is Really Happening In Springfield?” discussion on Saturday, Aug. 12 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Waubonsie Valley High School, located at 2590 Ogden Avenue in Aurora.

Read more here: http://www.kendallcountynow.com/2017/08/10/kifowit-invites-residents-to-discussion-on-recent-state-news/ab74xii/

Budget, Rauner’s SB1 Changes Could Cost Districts Millions

Daily Review Atlas, August 10, 2017

A change slipped into this year’s budget, coupled with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed changes to a school funding bill, could add another major financial challenge for area school districts. As part of the spending plan in July, lawmakers approved shifting the state’s portion of pension costs for all future teachers to local school districts.

Read more here: http://www.reviewatlas.com/news/20170810/budget-rauners-sb1-changes-could-cost-districts-millions

Back-to-school Shopping Brings Tears for Different Reasons

Journal Star, August 10, 2017

Tears were just below the surface as shoppers scoured aisles of back-to-school supplies Thursday at Walmart SuperCenter along Allen Road.

“I cried before I came here,” said Chandra Humphrey of Peoria, a widowed mother of three, lamenting the high cost of school supplies.

“I’ll spend at least $75 for each kid, not including shoes or a single outfit.”

Read more here: http://www.pjstar.com/news/20170810/back-to-school-shopping-brings-tears-for-different-reasons

Educators, Democratic Legislators Argue Against Rauner School Bill Changes

Journal Star, August 9, 2017

Legislators and area superintendents renewed their calls Wednesday for an override of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a school funding reform bill. They stressed the impact of Rauner’s changes on area districts and called on local Republicans to join in efforts to reach a compromise that could serve as an alternative.

Read more here: http://www.pjstar.com/news/20170809/educators-democratic-legislators-argue-against-rauner-school-bill-changes

Educators to Host Community Meeting in Murphysboro on Governor’s Veto of School-Funding Plan

The Southern, August 9, 2017

Two local school superintendents and a state administrator are set to host a town hall meeting Thursday to tell the community how the governor’s recent veto of a school-funding plan impacts them.

The meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the cafeteria at McElvain School, 593 Ava Road, in Murphysboro.

Read more here: http://thesouthern.com/news/local/education/educators-to-host-community-meeting-in-murphysboro-on-governor-s/article_d52bcafb-40b3-53c5-b98d-6d8344976da2.html

SB1 Is the Way To Treat Students Fairly

The Herald-News, August 9, 2017

To the Editor:

A recent Herald-News editorial asserts that Illinois’ funding formula should be fair for all districts, Chicago included. SB 1 is just that fair solution. Its provisions include the allocation of new money to districts with the highest need.

Under SB 1, no district loses money, but under Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto, Chicago and its students will.

Read more here: http://www.theherald-news.com/2017/08/09/sb-1-is-the-way-to-treat-students-fairly/a3srh9q/

ISBE Delays Release of Education Funding Bill Analysis

The State-Journal Register, August 8, 2017

The State Board of Education said Tuesday people will have to wait to learn how Gov. Bruce Rauner’s changes to a school funding bill will affect money coming into individual districts.

The board issued a statement saying a “significant error” is forcing the agency to recompute how Rauner’s proposed changes will affect funding distribution.

Read more here: http://www.sj-r.com/news/20170808/isbe-delays-release-of-education-funding-bill-analysis

Governor Rauner’s School-Funding Hunger Games

Chicago Reader, August 8, 2017

It was like Groundhog Day for public education recently, as about 40 or so Chicago parents, students, and activists did pretty much the exact same thing they did at about this time a year ago: headed north to Illinois governor Bruce Rauner’s house to protest his school funding policies.

Read more here: https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/illinois-governor-bruce-rauner-school-funding-public-schools-cps-sb1/Content?oid=28847865

Governor’s Amendatory Veto of SB1 Looking Like A Dud For Peoria

Journal Star, August 8, 2017

Previously we’ve written that either the Republican or Democrat plans for school funding reform in Illinois — Senate Bill 1124 or Senate Bill 1, the latter still in play — would be an improvement over an abominable status quo.

But with his amendatory veto of SB1 last week, Gov. Bruce Rauner went well beyond the intent of both bills — and perhaps Illinois’ Constitution — keeping his own party members in the dark and breaking new ground that pretty much would leave stillborn any attempt to narrow the nation’s worst gap in spending between rich and poor schools.

Read more here: http://www.pjstar.com/opinion/20170808/editorial-governors-amendatory-veto-of-sb1-looking-like-dud-for-peoria

Will Rauner’s Changes Sabotage SB1

The News-Gazette, August 6, 2017

The education-funding reform bill that passed the House and Senate in May and was finally sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk in July was the product of four years of research, endless listening tours and lots of hard bargaining.

The House Democrats changed some things at the last minute to benefit Chicago and the governor didn’t like it, but his own education czar claimed the governor still approved of “90 percent” of the legislation.

Read more here: http://www.news-gazette.com/opinion/columns/2017-08-06/rich-millercapitol-fax-will-rauners-changes-sabotage-sb-1.html

Legislators Should Override Rauner’s Amendatory Veto

Chicago Sun-Times, August 5, 2017

Senate Bill 1 would put into place a carefully crafted “evidence based” model; ensuring that all districts will not lose their current state funding and directs that additional resources go to districts with the highest needs. Gov. Bruce Rauner and several downstate legislators say they support over 90 percent of SB1 but contend it will send “downstate money” to Chicago and “bail out Chicago’s broken teacher pension system.”

Read more here: http://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/letters-legislators-should-override-rauners-amendatory-veto/

How Does Rauner’s Veto Affect Your School?

Crain’s, August 4, 2017

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, I’ve got two of them—maps, actually—and they neatly depict some of the impact of how funding for public schools would change statewide under the amendatory veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner of a pending bill to revamp the state’s school-aid formula.

Read more here: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20170804/BLOGS02/170809914/illinois-gov-rauners-sb1-veto-how-does-it-affect-your-schools

Statement on Governor’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1

Statement on Governor’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1

We are disappointed in the Governor’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, which promises a fair and equitable school funding system. At a time of scarce resources, this broad amendatory veto hits low-income school districts the hardest, cutting funding from poor kids while diverting dollars from low-income districts to wealthier districts, including a cut of more than $200 million from Chicago Public Schools by removing the cost of its block grants from the district’s base funding minimum. The veto punishes all districts by putting a cap on regional costs, ignoring inflation, and removing protections for districts in the future in the event that local resources are used to pay for pensions. These actions are unfair and unacceptable to our coalition or parents, educators, civil rights leaders, and superintendents across the state.

Now we turn to the General Assembly to demonstrate leadership, put partisanship aside and make history by ending the era of inequitable school funding that has shortchanged low-income students in Illinois for two decades. Such bold, bipartisan action is needed now more than ever, not only to provide certainty to students and families who are wondering if their schools will be able to open on time and stay open this fall, but to do the right thing for generations of students to come. We call on the General Assembly to get this done for kids across Illinois and fix the school funding formula once and for all.

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 Parent-Teacher Association, 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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SB1 is About Fairness for All Students

Quad-City Times, August 1, 2017

As an educator and advocate for a fair school funding system for Illinois children, I am disappointed in Gov. Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 1. Students in East Moline return to school in two weeks and we still don’t have a funding bill. The governor had a tremendous opportunity in front of him. He had the chance to not only ensure our schools are funded on time this year, but to systematically change Illinois’ historically inequitable funding system for the children in East Moline and the 2.1 million students across the state.

Read more here: http://qctimes.com/opinion/columnists/guest-view-sb-is-about-fairness-for-all-students/article_848b1944-333a-5da0-a3a5-1248cbe5bb96.html

Rauner’s Veto of Parts of School Bill Leaves Plenty of Questions

Chicago Sun-Times, August 1, 2017

Gov. Bruce Rauner did on Tuesday what he’s been vowing to do for months: nix parts of a new bipartisan school funding bill he didn’t like.

But Rauner’s changes didn’t just target the “Chicago bailout” he’s been railing against since the legislation passed in May. Experts say his long list of line-by-line changes to Senate Bill 1 would affect a lot of districts in Illinois, reputed as the worst in the country for funding for poor students.

Read more here: http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/rauners-veto-of-parts-of-school-bill-leaves-plenty-of-questions/

Statement on Senate Bill 1 going to the Governor

7/31/17

This is an historic moment for Illinois. For the first time in decades, we are close to fixing school funding and ending years of inequity in how the state funds its schools. It is now time for final action from the General Assembly to give certainty to students and families, and ensure that schools open on time and stay open all year. We call on the General Assembly to get this done for the children of Illinois and end the broken status quo.

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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 Parent-Teacher Association, 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.

Superintendents Meet To Bring Awareness To Need Of School Funding

KFVS 12, July 31, 2017

Senators Paul Schimpf and Dale Fowler confirmed that Senate Bill 1,the legislation that revamps the Illinois school funding formula, was sent to Governor Bruce Rauner this afternoon.

Now that the bill’s on his desk,  it is unclear what will happen. The governor has said he will  use his veto power to strip some money for Chicago Public Schools.

Read more here: http://www.kfvs12.com/story/36015940/superintendents-meet-to-bring-awareness-to-need-of-school-funding

Superintendents Urge Legislators To Agree on Illinois School Funding Plan

WPSD Local 6, July 31, 2017

Monday’s speakers asked legislators to agree on a plan, so state funding can start going to schools. With 10 days away from the start of school, Brent Clark with the Illinois Association of School Administrators says legislators have no time to waste.

“No one in modern history has been in this moment where we’re this far into the summer and this close to school starting and no formula,” Clark said.

Read more here: http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/story/36016052/superintendents-urge-legislators-to-agree-on-illinois-school-funding-plan

Illinois Families Concerned About School Budget Crisis

KSDK, July 29, 2017

After three days of a special session to address education funding in Illinois, lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner still haven’t reached a solution. On Monday, Democrats are expected to give the governor legislation known as Senate Bill 1. He’s made it clear he won’t sign the bill and would instead use his amendatory veto powers to rewrite it. Meanwhile, many families are worried.

Read more here: http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/illinois-families-concerned-about-school-budget-crisis/460502486

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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