Sunday, Apr 20, 2014
Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Trending on the Journal

Related Headlines

School funding proposal advances, changes likely

Illinois schools warned state funding likely to drop even more

Lawmaker: Chicago schools get too much money

Late payments on ‘categorical’ funds detrimental for schools

Recent Comments

eaglebeaky - Illinois lawmakers to discuss money for Obama library - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Wall Street was solidly in the Romney/Ryan camp last time, pjohnf. (And assuming he's the nominee, they'll certainly be in Ryan's camp in 2016.) Why is it that you seem to think that they're Obama supporters?
eaglebeaky - Illinois lawmakers to discuss money for Obama library - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
When did presidential libraries start taking this kind of funding? (I always thought they were privately funded... or at least I remember hearing that the Clinton and Bush #43 libraries were being done that way.)
eaglebeaky - Voter rights, crime victim rights amendments set for fall ballot so far - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJo
Off-topic, but just to clarify, I will say that the disabled individuals that I've worked with aren't the least bit interested in free phones or anything like that. (Many of them will never live independently in their own communities; any such "bribes" would be meaningless to them.) Of course there are opportunists who do try to take advantage of every social program under the sun, and…
AYHSMB - Illinois lawmakers to discuss money for Obama library - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, and Bush 2, had libraries built with private funds. I can't believe Soros or Buffett (or the Clinton's ;P) aren't contributing to the bill for Obama. Rahm is even stumping for it, as he says it will be a big tourism money maker. Hey, I'm all for it, if it is. On a side note, I think this is the first presidential…
eaglebeaky - Voter rights, crime victim rights amendments set for fall ballot so far - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJo
I honestly couldn't care less about anybody's party affiliation. This ID issue actually has A LOT to do with poor people, the elderly, and people with disabilities -- regardless of their personal politics. (There are a lot of poor people in the south who are lifelong Republicans.) Arbitrarily-enacted voter ID laws ultimately won't disenfranchise you or me... but they do have a real…

Most Popular

Two die in overnight house fire Updated

Petroleum Marketers, C-Stores, fight proposed Illinois gas tax hikes Updated Video

City department heads attempt to justify budgets to aldermen

Adams Co. Divorces for April, 18 2014

Firefighters and Bus Drivers contracts to go to City Council

Fowler man arrested for meth possession

Home Builders, Illinois House look to weaken Fire Marshal authority

U.S. Senator from Illinois Mark Kirk tours Blessing Hospital's stroke unit

Senate study pushes for school funding equity

2 months, 2 weeks ago from Associated Press

Committee says streamlining Illinois' school funding formula would provide better equity

A new report by a state Senate education committee says that streamlining Illinois' school funding formula would provide better equity to all districts.

According to the document released Friday evening, putting the vast majority of state funds into one pot, then dividing up resources based on need, would serve as a fairer distribution method than the current system, which factors in a district's poverty for some types of state aid but not others and also treats funding for Chicago schools differently.

As the state grapples with an estimated loss of $1.5 billion in revenue if lawmakers allow the temporary income tax increase to expire as scheduled next January, committee members say it's an ideal time to have a conversation about changes.

"Whatever money we have, we'd like for schools to be funded fairly," state Sen. Dave Luechtefeld, an Okawville Republican and co-chair of the eight-member committee, said.

Overspending and a $100 billion pension shortfall put Illinois in dire financial shape in recent years, with crucial money being stripped away from schools as a backlog of bills piled up.

Since 2009, Illinois schools have seen over $800 million in cuts, according to the state Board of Education.

Democratic State Sen. Andy Manar, the education committee's other co-chair, said he became more aware of the impact of such cuts when his son's elementary school art class was moved to a janitor's closet to save the Bunker Hill School District money.

As it stands now, Illinois schools get their money from the state in a variety of ways. In addition to "general state aid" - money distributed to districts to help offset the basic cost of educating students- schools get separate grant money to fund specific programs, including transportation, special education and vocational training.

While general state aid is divvied up based on districts' respective poverty levels and various aspects to determine need, much of the other grant funding is not.

In addition, Chicago school funding is entirely different than the rest of the state. Since the mid-1990s, the city's schools have gotten a block, or overall percentage, of available state funds based on their enrollment and need. The city can spend the money as it sees fit.

Manar argues that as times get lean, wealthier districts that have more property tax dollars going toward their schools have an advantage over the poorer districts and can more easily offset cuts in state aid.

"We're saying that local ability to pay should be considered when grants are given," Manar said.

The committee report - which comes after members spent six months hearing testimony from educators around the state - suggests that the vast majority of specialized programs as well as general state aid be funded through the same formula and equalized based on districts' respective wealth. It also wants districts to detail how they are spending their state dollars in each of their schools. And the report suggests that Chicago funding should be integrated into the single-funding formula.

Manar, who will detail the report on Monday at the state Capitol, said he hopes to have school funding reform legislation filed by March.

That goal, Luechtefeld said, might be lofty, as regional and partisan interests will be fleshed out as the issue is debated, among other tax-and-spend issues this legislative session.

Education board officials say that after years of cuts they're grateful the issue is getting attention.

"We hope that it will lead to more equitable funding for our districts," board spokeswoman Mary Fergus said.


From the Newsroom

QuincyJournal on Twitter

QuincyJournal 6 hours, 58 minutes ago

Arbor Day Foundation names Quincy Tree City USA - Quincy achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program... http://t.co/TfFCAOWaW2
Bob Gough on Twitter

Bob Gough 7 hours, 11 minutes ago

RT @ShooterMcGavin_: Remember today is Easter, not 4/20. We’re to be honoring Jesus Christ, not Bob Marley.
QuincyJournal on Twitter

QuincyJournal 12 hours, 1 minute ago

IFT launches FutureFood 2050 to highlight solutions to feed 9 Billion http://t.co/Gj1GsFMrCH
Bob Gough on Twitter

Bob Gough 13 hours, 23 minutes ago

RT @WordOnFire: Christ is risen. Indeed, he is truly risen. Amen. Alleluia! http://t.co/nBD7xhY9aF http://t.co/9pKNma37XD