ISBE recommends $15B school funding budget, double what state paid last year

ISBE said they need additional money to cover the costs of the new funding model. (WRSP)

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) asked for $15.7 billion to fund schools for the upcoming fiscal year.

That amount is $7 billion more than what schools throughout the state received in General State Aid payments last year.

An education funding reform bill was signed into law in August 2017.

The new method takes student demographics into account when figuring out how much money to give a district.

ISBE said they need additional money to cover the costs of the new funding model.

“We know it’s going to take $15.7 billion to adequately fund every child from Cairo to Chicago and everywhere in between,” ISBE board member Kevin Settle said.

Five months after becoming law, the formula still hasn’t been implemented because ISBE said they needed the legislature to correct some technical errors.

The legislature passed a bill that corrected the problems ISBE needed to be fixed in November, but Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto on it on January 8.

Senator Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, championed the school funding reform bill. He said without this bill school funding will continue to be inequitable.

“There will be many school districts in the state that won’t receive the money that they were promised when they advocated to their legislators to pass the bill," Manar said. "So this is not a slam dunk for anyone."

Manar said he is not sure if the legislature plans to take action on the governor’s amendatory veto.

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