Schools and School Funding

Despite the Governor’s statements about “full funding of schools” many school districts are at least two payments, if not more in arrears on the receipt of mandated categorical. Mandated categorials are payments to local school districts such as for Special Education, Summer School, and Transportation. In addition, the Governor’s proposed property tax freeze would have also applied to school districts. Being amongst the largest levies on a property tax bill, school districts with low EAVs would be hurt immensely. Many school districts have also not received their transportation monies. This will be solved with a fair and equitable budget but at the same time, the Governor’s office and the State Board of Education are responsible for monitoring the fiscal health of these districts. And if they have not received monies owed to them, this administration and the State Board need to be held accountable.

BUT:

One of the most sweeping changes in school funding legislation in the last 30 years occurred with SB1.

SB1 established the so-called “Evidence Based Model” which more fairly allocates money to school districts, irrespective of their property wealth. Based on a mathematical formula, this model accounts fro the needs of students with disabilities, English learners and low-income students. It ensures that a district’s taxing effort matches the districts local wealth and, unlike earlier well-meaning efforts, no school district loses money and is in a more stable long-term funding solution.

Estimated Funds from SB1*

SCHOOL DISTRICT NAME % LOW-INCOME STUDENTS % OF ADEQUACY OVERALL GAIN$
ARBOR PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT 145 48% 57% $566,225
COUNTRY CLUB HILLS SCH DIST 160 77% 62% $264,524
ELEM SCHOOL DISTRICT 159 63% 100% $47,717
MATTESON ELEM SCHOOL DIST 162 60% 67% $289,076
PRAIRIE-HILLS ELEM SCH DIST 144 81% 56% $1,218,074
RICH TWP H S DISTRICT 227 58% 62% $924,276
TINLEY PARK COMM SCH DIST 146 37% 106% $2, 947

 In addition, the evidence based model and some features of the planned FY2018 budget that House Democrats are about to introduce have “true” property tax relief measures built in. High tax school districts are eligible for property tax relief up to 1% of their EAV:

 

SCHOOL DISTRICT NAME PROPERTY TAX RELIEF $(Estimated eligibility ***)
COUNTRY CLUB HILLS SCH DIST 160 $952,264
MATTESON ELEM SD 162 $2,689,710
PRAIRIE-HILLS ELEM SD 144 $1,359,965
RICH TOWNSHIP HIGH SD 227 $2,986,318

 

* Based on ISBE published model. Numbers reflect an FY17 simulation. FY18 Numbers will vary. Based on DHS %

*** Estimate by Advance Illinois and assume a $200M Property Tax Relief Fund

Education Group Visits Statehouse

Updated: Wednesday, March 11 2015, 09:21 AM CDT
Education groups visited the statehouse on Tuesday to discuss the state’s funding of public schools.
They came from all over the state, and voiced concerns to lawmakers. The concerns included the state’s failure to meet funding promises, and growing inequality of funding between districts.
But lawmakers say there is at least one point of contention.
“I maintain that even though we’re under these mandates, there are things you have an advantage in some of the flat grant districts that other districts don’t have,” said Rep. Al Riley (D-Olympia Fields).
A House committee is set to discuss a plan to change the state’s funding formula for schools on Wednesday.Read More at: http://www.foxillinois.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/education-groups-visit-statehouse-2779.shtml

South Suburban Students Advocate for Educational Funding in Springfield

South Holland, IL-(ENEWSPF)  South Suburban College students traveled to Springfield recently to participate in Student Advocacy Day and Legislative Awareness Day. Students from the college’s Student Life & Leadership Department, Student Government, and Division of Adult Education worked together as the events were set up for the same day this year. The students visited legislators to advocate specifically for funding for adult education programs and MAP (Monetary Award Program).  They also promoted SSC’s important role in College District 510 and the critical importance state funding plays in assisting residents who need the college’s programs and services. The students made the trip representing SSC along with Don Manning, President; Patrice Burton, Dean of Student Services; Rebecca Garcia, Student Trustee; Christopher McElroy, Volunteer Literacy Coordinator and Transitions Coach; Erica Humphrey, ABE/ASE Evening Coordinator; and Arkeytta Johnson, ICAPS Instructor.

Student representatives from almost all 48 community colleges were in attendance for both Student Advocacy Day and Legislative Awareness Day, organized respectively by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) Student Advisory Committee (SAC), and the Illinois Adult & Continuing Education Association (IACEA). SSC was the only college with a collaboration of this nature and had one of the largest groups in attendance.

“Serving as Vice-Chair to the ICCB-SAC this past year was amazing, but the icing on the cake was being with so many students I represent at SSC in Springfield today,” said Student Trustee Garcia. “We were advocating for what we believe in–that community colleges are extremely important, and without them we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

The SSC group met with the following legislators along the way: Senator Michael Hastings, Representative Marcus Evans, Representative Will Davis (Davis also introduced the SSC contingent on the House floor), Representative Al Riley, and Senator Napoleon Harris. Representative Thaddeus Jones was not available but generously provided the SSC student advocates with lunch.

President Manning added, “I am so proud of our students for passionately playing a role in some very important issues and decisions that are being made right now in Springfield. I would also like to thank our south suburban legislators for taking the time to meet with our advocacy group and to help educate them on the process.”

SSC is located at 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois.

Written by press release

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