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Illinois School Funding

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

Illinois school districts are due to receive state funds Aug. 10, but that can't happen until lawmakers either override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of Senate Bill 1 or come up with some other plan he will sign.

Two school funding plans progressed in the Illinois legislature Wednesday. A plan sponsored by Sen. Andy Manar was approved in the Senate, while in the House, a very similar plan sponsored by Rep. Will Davis made it through committee. Does that mean lawmakers may have finally found a way to cure the state's infamously unfair school funding structure?

 

Comptroller Susana Mendoza says she’s not sure when school districts will receive state money owed to them for the rest of this school year. Mendoza’s office is in charge of paying the state’s bills.

Dusty Rhodes

A Chicago law firm representing a group of mostly rural school superintendents sued the state of Illinois Wednesday. They're asking Governor Bruce Rauner and the state board of education to come up with a funding formula that would help schools meet the state's learning standards.

Dusty Rhodes

The Grand Bargain is a package of interlocking legislation designed to break the state budget impasse in Illinois. How important is school funding to that deal? Important enough that leaders titled it Senate Bill One.

Illinois Speaker of the House Mike Madigan today announced that he will re-convene hearings on the state’s education funding formula. The state's current formula relies heavily on property taxes, creating a big disparity among schools based on their geographic location. Some districts can spend more than $32,000 per student every year, while others scrape by on a fraction of that amount. 

Monmouth-Roseville Debates Funding Options

Nov 12, 2014
T.J. Carson

Funding solutions for the Monmouth-Roseville School District remain unknown after a proposed hike in the education fund tax rate was voted down in November’s elections.

Monmouth-Roseville Makes Case for Tax Rate Increase

Oct 29, 2014
T.J. Carson

Voters will decide whether to grant the Monmouth-Roseville School District a 75-cent tax rate increase for the education fund.  Salaries and most other day-to-day expenses are paid from that fund.

Rich Egger

Critics of the way Illinois funds schools say it's wrong that the quality of a child's education is based largely on his/her zip code.

Rich Egger

It's doubtful Illinois' pension crisis will be resolved soon.

Legislative leaders and the governor met Thursday, June 21 to discuss whether the state or local school districts should pay retirement costs for downstate and suburban teachers. The state picks up the tab now, but it doesn't pay for Chicago teachers' retirement benefits.

After the meeting, top lawmakers said they're going to spend five weeks studying school funding equality. Then they'll work on what to do about Illinois' hugely underfunded government pensions.

Illinois public school districts are preparing next year's budgets. It's a difficult undertaking with state aid still up in the air.

The legislative session will begin several weeks later than usual. It's not known when the governor and the lawmakers might agree on education funding.

General State Aid to school districts was cut 5% for the current fiscal year.

West Prairie Superintendent Jonathan Heerboth said the cuts for next year could be worse.