School Funding Reform Commission reaches bipartisan framework for school funding formula

Governor Bruce Rauner’s Illinois School Funding Reform Commission today approved a framework that allows members of the General Assembly to create a new school funding formula.

“Illinois is another step closer to fixing our broken school funding system,” Governor Rauner said. “I applaud the Commission members for putting politics aside to advance a bipartisan framework that can serve as an immediate roadmap for legislation. The framework ensures all public school children in Illinois receive equitable funding, no matter where they live.  We look forward to working with members of the General Assembly to quickly resolve the outstanding issues identified in the report with the hope of enacting a bipartisan school funding reform package as soon as possible.”

The 25 commission members, comprised of five members from each party in each chamber and five members appointed by the Governor, met for over 75 hours in the last six months to reform the school funding formula. The framework will better focus resources on the needs of the students and districts. Through this framework, new funding will first go to schools who are farthest away from their adequacy targets, serving the most vulnerable students. This measure will address inequity within districts, not just among districts, and also ensure all public school children, including those who attend charter schools, receive equitable treatment.

“This has been a robust, bipartisan and bicameral process,” said Illinois Secretary of Education Dr. Beth Purvis.  “I am incredibly thankful that these really dedicated members of the General Assembly and the Governor’s appointees were able to come and have substantive conversations in which children were at the center of the decision-making.”