Why Investing in the Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) Formula is Important
Theodia Gillespie, Quad Cities Urban League
May 17, 2023
As President and Chief Executive Officer of the Quad County Urban League I am dedicated to supporting and advocating for children and youth within the Quad Counties (DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will) of Illinois. While we have developed programs and services to empower our students, a big component in our children’s success lies in education. In fact, research shows that high-quality educational experiences from birth through postsecondary make a dramatic difference in individuals’ success in school, career, and life. Having adequate, equitable state funding for K-12 public schools, and higher education is necessary to provide these opportunities.
Investing in the Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) formula is an important piece in making sure students within our communities thrive by having access to quality education, resources and supports. Post-secondary students persist at higher rates when they have had a strong K-12 education. Colleges and universities prepare the early childhood and K-12 educators that help our students succeed. At our current rate, if we continue to add an additional $350 million each year in new funds which is roughly the pace, it will take at least two decades from the passage of EBF (in 2017) to fully fund our schools. Our children should not have to wait that long.
We are in a moment where state leaders and others can do more for our students and their future. Increasing our annual appropriation of new funds to $550 million will accelerate Illinois’ steps toward ensuring all of its school districts are adequately and equitably funded. Such an investment will allow many more students to benefit from a high-quality education, something all our students deserve.
Let’s keep up the progress to ensure all students in Illinois receive the high-quality education they deserve, regardless of their zip code.