Syverson: ISBE data shows compromise school funding bill is the best option

Springfield- Data from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) shows that a recent compromise school funding proposal would substantially benefit all local schools, according to State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford).

“This is a good bill that expands on areas of agreement to finally create a more equitable way to fund all of our schools,” said Senator Dave Syverson. “Perhaps most importantly, this legislation doesn’t take money away from local students to bail out Chicago’s years of bad decisions.”

According to the analysis from ISBE, Senate Bill 1124 Amendment 3 would increase funding for every single school district in Illinois, including Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Unlike Senate Bill 1, the Democrat bill which recently passed the General Assembly, the new legislation wouldn’t unfairly dump hundreds of millions of extra dollars into Chicago’s coffers as part of a special deal.

“Our families have been paying much higher taxes for years, something that Chicago hasn’t asked its homeowners to do,” said Senator Syverson. “It’s not fair to ask our families to pay even more to make up for years of mismanagement and self-induced crisis in Chicago.”

On most areas, Senate Bill 1124 Amendment 3 and Senate Bill 1 agree, including making the switch to an evidence-based school funding model that uses 27 data sets to determine the actual needs of each individual district. Both bills also rely on the same method of driving funds to low-income students as well as the same system for determining cost differences between different part of the state.

While the two bills propose to use an identical method of determining the base funding minimum for school districts, Senate Bill 1124 SFA3 notably treats all schools the same in the actual calculation of that base number. In contrast, Senate Bill 1 adds hundreds of millions of extra dollars to the base funding minimum for only one school district, Chicago Public Schools (CPS). As a result, Senate Bill 1 would send 7 of every 10 new dollars to a district that represents less than 20% of the students. This is money Senator Syverson says could otherwise be sent through the evidence-based model to be equitably distributed to all schools. Under Senate Bill 1124, Chicago would still receive the largest increase in funding compared to all other schools at more than $100 million.

“This bill relies on areas of agreement, between legislators and education experts, but 1124 creates a fair system for all schools,” said Senator Syverson. “I urge my colleagues to allow this bill to be called for a vote as soon as possible during the special legislative session.”

Comparisons between the two bills for 35th District schools is below:


Full results of the ISBE analysis for Senate Bill 1124 SFA 3 is available at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Education-Funding-Proposals.aspx

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