History of Illinois’ broken funding formula

For decades, Illinois’ school funding formula relied on local property taxes and shortchanged students in low-income school districts. In 2015, The Education Trust, a national education advocacy organization, ranked Illinois’ school funding system worst in the nation for equity. For every dollar spent on a non-low-income student, Illinois spent 81 cents on a low-income student, even as research shows that low-income kids need additional support. Efforts to fix the formula date to the 1990s, but the complexity of school funding and the state’s regional differences made it difficult to build consensus. With the support of Funding Illinois’ Future, school funding reform bills passed the Illinois Senate in 2014 and 2016, Though the full passage and enactment of legislation was still out of reach, legislators from both parties acknowledged that the school funding system needed to be fixed.

Winning school funding reform

Funding Illinois’ Future brought together its largest coalition yet for the push for school funding reform in 2017, amplifying the message of “fix the formula” through myriad town hall meetings, press conferences, social media posts, letters to the editor and conversations with legislators. The coalition supported an evidence-based model as the vehicle for fixing the formula and driving resources to the neediest school districts in Illinois. On May 31, an evidence-based model as part of SB1 passed the General Assembly, the first school funding reform bill to pass both chambers in 20 years. The coalition continued to press for the evidence-based model as the solution even as the Governor issued an amendatory veto of the bill on Aug. 1. The legislature came to a compromise solution a few weeks later, and a new, more equitable school funding formula was signed into law on Aug. 31.

The work isn’t over

While the new formula fixes the structural funding issues facing Illinois, the system will remain inequitable for hundreds of thousands of students until it is fully funded. After years of under-investment in education Illinois, much work remains before funding gaps are closed between low-income and wealthier school districts. Funding Illinois’ Future remains steadfast in its support for Illinois’ public education system and the belief that zip codes shouldn’t determine the quality of a child’s education.


About us

Funding Illinois’ Future is a coalition of more than 200 school districts, school superintendents, community- and faith-based organizations that helped fix Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation school funding formula in 2017. We’re now focused on the goal of equitable and adequate funding and giving every student in the state the education they deserve. To learn more, click here sign up for our e-newsletter, or like us on Facebook and follow us on TwitterPrivacy Policy



Advance Illinois
Affinity Community Services
Pastor Bedford at the Coalition for Better Education
Bronzeville Community Action Council
Business and Professional People for the Public Interest
Chicago Urban League
Citizens for Education – Hillsboro
Citizens for Education – Pana
Citizens for Education – Taylorville
Julio Cruz, Multilingual Chicago
Educators for Excellence
Equity First Superintendents
Faith Coalition for the Common Good (Springfield)
First Baptist Church, Quincy
Fox Valley Christian Ministerial Alliance
Gamaliel of Metro Chicago
Gamaliel of Illinois
Greater Rock M.B. Church, Chicago
Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education
Illinois Business Roundtable
Illinois Federation for Community Schools
Illinois Leadership for Educational Equity
Illinois Network of Charter Schools
Illinois Resource Center
Instituto del Progreso Latino
John Rico, CEO of Rico Enterprises, Inc.
Lake County Community Foundation
Latino Policy Forum
League of United Latin American Citizens-Illinois
The League of Women Voters of Illinois
Metropolitan Family Services
Mid-Illinois Network of District Schools
Mt. Carmel M.B. Church, Chicago
Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Joliet
Mt. Zion Baptist Church/IPA, Peoria
The New Promiseland M.B. Church, Chicago
Noble Network
North Chicago Chamber of Commerce
Ounce of Prevention
Pilsen Neighbors Community Council
Quad County Urban League (DuPage, Kane, Kendall, and Will Counties)
Rainbow Push Coalition
Sandeep Nain, President SNtial Technologies, Inc.
Second Baptist Church, Joliet
South Suburban Action Conference
Southern Mission Baptist Church, East St. Louis
Springfield Urban League
Steans Family Foundation
Teach Plus Illinois
The Center: Resources for Teaching and Learning
Tri-County Urban League (Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford and McLean Counties)
United Congregations of Metro East
Urban Education Institute
UMMA Center (Waukegan)
Ward Memorial Baptist Church, Chicago



Timothy Page, A-C Central CUSD 262
Jeffrey Fritchtnitch, Altamont CUSD 10
Dr. Michael Popp, Aurora East USD 131
Dr. Jeff Craig, Aurora West USD 129
Lan Eberle, Bartonville SD 66
Reggie Clinton, Beardstown CUSD 15
Dr. Jay Goble, Benton CCSD 47
Mary Havis, Berwyn South SD 100
Charles Stegall, Bethalto CUSD 8
Jeffrey Strieker, Bond County CUSD 2
Dr. Scott Goselin, Bradley SD 61
Dr. Henrietta Young, Brooklyn UD 188
Adam Bussard, Brownstown CUSD 201
Dr. Victor Buehler, Bunker Hill CUSD 8
Dr. Kate Sievers, Calhoun CUSD 40
Roy Webb, Canton Union SD66
Joe Novsek, Carlyle CUSD 1
Michael Kelly, Carlinville CUSD 1
Dee Scott, Casey-Westfield CUSD 4C
Kevin Meyer, Central CUSD 71
Chuck Lane, Centralia HSD 200
Julie Leslie Varble, Century SD 100
Jim Littleford, Charleston CUSD 1
Dr. Robert Green, Collinsville CUSD 10
Steven Butler, Cumberland CUSD 77
Mark Denman, Danville CCSD 118
Lisa Taylor, Decatur SD 61
Dr. Chad Allaman, District 50 Schools
Michael Juenger, Dixon USD 170
Dr. Jayne Purcell, Dolton SD 148
Virgil Moore, East Alton SD 13
Kristin Humphries, East Moline SD 37
Art Culver, East St. Louis SD 189
Ryan Hobbs, Eldorado CUSD 4
Diana Zurliene, Fairfield PSD 112
Dr. John Asplund, Farmington Central CUSD 265
Peter Flynn, Freeport SD 145
Patrick McDermott, Freeport SD 145
Bart Arthur, Galesburg CUSD 205
Joe Tieman, Gillespie CUSD 7
Jim Greenwald, Granite City CUSD 9
Sarah Emery, Grayville CUD 1
Dr. Julie Morris, Harlem UD 122
Mike Gauch, Harrisburg Community SD 3
Mathew Plater, Havana CUSD 126
David Powell, Hillsboro CUSD 3
Chad Allison, Illinois Valley Central USD 321
Patrick Hatfield, Illinois Valley Central USD 321
Dr. Linda Dvorak, Iroquois West CUSD 10
Steve Ptacek, Jacksonville SD 117
Dr. Lori Franke-Hopkins, Jersey CUSD 100
Dr. Genevra A. Walters, Kankakee SD 111
Dan Marenda, La Salle ESD 122
Doug Daugherty, Lawrence County CUD 20
Jeanne Davis, Lewistown CUSD 97
Robert Bagby, Lincoln CHSD 404
Kent Froebe, Lincoln ESD 27
Allan Gresham, Limestone CHSD 310
John Mullett, Litchfield CUSD 12
JoEllen Fuller, Marseilles ESD 150
Dr. Craig Fiegel, Mascoutah CUD 19
Dr. Kristen School, Mendota CCSD 289
Edward Fletcher, Monmouth-Roseville CUSD 238
Darrick Reiley, Monroe SD 70
Patrick Murphy, Mt. Olive CUSD 5
Brad Turner, Mulberry Grove CUSD 1
Christopher Grode, Murphysboro CUSD 186
Dr. Scott Doerr, Nokomis CUSD 22
Dr. Ben Martindale, North Chicago SD 187
Marica Cullen, North Mac CUSD 34
Patrick Bowman, Northwestern CUSD 2
David Black, Norwood School District 63
Steve Westrick, Odin PSD 722
Mike Pilliion, Olgesby ESD 125
David Lett, Pana SD 8
Aaron Hopper, Panhandle CUSD 2
Dr. Joyce Carmine, Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 163
Leslie Foppe, Patoka CUSD 100
Dr. Sharon Kherat, Peoria SD 150
Eric Heath, Peoria Heights CUSD 325
Shannon Dudek, Pleasant Hill SD 69
Charles Bleyer, Pope County CUD 1
David Rogers, Prophetstown-Lyndon-Tampico CUSD 3
Jeff Mays, Quincy SD 172
Melissa Ritter, Ramsey CUSD 204
Darryl Hogue, River Bend CUSD 2
Todd Prusator, Rochelle Consolidated CUSD 231
Dan Arickx, Rock Falls ESD 13
Ron McCord, Rock Falls Township HSD 301
Dr. Ehren Jarrett, Rockford CUSD 205
Julie Wollerman, ROE 3
Dr. Constance Collins, Round Lake CUSD 116
Brad Detering, Salem CHSD 600
Mark Cartwright, Salem SD 111
Jennifer Garrison, Sandoval CUSD 501
Tony Sanders, CEO, School District U-46
Denise Bence, Shelbyville CUSD 4
Ray Bergles, Silvis SD 34
Larry Beattie, Sparta CUSD 140
Jennifer Gill, Springfield SD 186
Rick Batchelor, South Central CUD 401
Ron Graham, South Fork SD 14
Brad Skertich, Southwestern CUSD 9
Richard Levek, St. Anne CHSD 302
Deborah Philpot, St. Elmo CUSD 202
Richard Stempinski, Staunton CUSD 6
Dr. David Thieman, Steger SD 194
Brad Tuttle, Sullivan CUSD 300
Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau, Taylorville CUSD 3
William Fritcher, Teutopolis CUSD 50
Steve Eisenhauer, Triopia CUSD 27
Dr. Donald Owen, Urbana SD 116
James Mitchem, Valley View SD 365U
Rich Well, Vandalia CUSD 203
Timothy Buss, Wabash CUSD 348
Dr. Donaldo Batiste, Waukegan CUSD 60
Jeff Mitchell, Wayne City CUSD 100
Jennifer Filyaw, Wesclin CUSD 3
Craig Mathers, West Carroll CUSD 314
Dr. Gren Goins, Frankfort CUSD 168
Scott Fisher, County of Winnebago SD 320
Dr. John Ahlgrim, Zion ESD 6