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.