Issue Background

School Funding Reform

  • IPA supports funding the General State Aid formula at a level that reflects the cost of providing quality education for Illinois students.
  • IPA support meeting the costs of funding quality public education by making education the State's primary budgetary program. 
  • IPA supports adopting a fair, appropriate, accurate and timely means of determining the count of low-income students as used for the General State Aid distribution formula.

School funding reform has been discussed over the last few years within state government, primarily in terms of the inequities among funding of Illinois school districts. As a result, legislation has been proposed to shift education dollars from more wealthy districts to needier districts. 

IPA supports the Illinois Vision 20/20 plan for school funding reform known as the Evidence-Based Adequacy Model.

The evidence-based adequacy model is a method used to determine per-pupil costs for each school district to guarantee that each student has access to a high quality education.

The framework defines a prototypical cost for every student in every school in Illinois. Within the model there are adjustments for factors such as poverty, transportation, support services employees, operation and maintenance employees, supplies and materials, capital equipment needs, technology equipment and infrastructure, and geographic cost differences.

Evidence-based models are being used in other states such as Wyoming, Arkansas, Texas and North Dakota.

On July 12, 2016, Governor Rauner created the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission to make recommendations to the General Assembly to revise the current school funding formula by February 1, 2017. The Commission is comprised of 25 members

View the final report, resources, and listen to past meetings of the Commission here

On February 23, 2017, Speaker Michael J. Madigan announced that he would form a task force to review the Commission's work and draft a new funding formula. Task force members can be found here