All school districts benefit from more equitable compromise funding fix

All Illinois school districts would benefit from a more equitable distribution of state education dollars under a compromise proposal introduced by State Representative Bob Pritchard (R-Sycamore) to fix the state’s broken school aid formula and end the budget stalemate, according to data released by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

The legislation, House Bill 4069, is a true compromise that embraces the priorities of lawmakers from both parties and both legislative chambers, and reflects the recommendations of the Governor’s bipartisan, bicameral Illinois School Funding Reform Commission.

In addition, according to the Illinois State Board of Education data, House Bill 4069 ensures that no school district would lose funding and represents the most fair and equitable plan for all Illinois students.

House bill 4069:
  • Incorporates the agreed upon evidence-based model
  • Treats all 852 school districts the same
  • Ensures no school districts lose funding
  • Provides meaningful assistance to Chicago
  • Relies on data to drive resources and funding to schools most in need
  • Creates real equity by treating all districts and students fairly under one system, regardless of zip code
  • Offers the greatest chance of becoming law

When including both base funding and tier funding, every downstate and suburban school district would receive more funding through House Bill 4069 than under Senate Bill 1. For a more detailed, side-by-side analysis, click here. However, embracing the spirit of bipartisan compromise, House Bill 4069 represents real concessions in many areas.

The legislation reflects the same language as Senate Bill 1 with regard to:
  • Using an evidence-based model
  • Addressing poverty concentration
  • Establishing a tier structure and retaining CPS in Tier 1
  • Applying a regionalization factor and other adjustments
  • Safeguarding English learners and special education students
  • Calculating local resources
  • Establishing a base funding minimum

In areas where there were differences of opinion, the legislation offers compromise with regard to the hold harmless, mandate relief, the Chicago Block Grant and CPS pensions.

However, while House Bill 4069 and Senate Bill 1 are nearly identical, there are a few important differences.
  1. House Bill 4069 provides CPS with assistance based on evidence-based practices and the demographics of their students.
  2. It does NOT offer special deals hidden in the formula that are designed to fix the Chicago Public Schools’ broken pension system and pay off their overwhelming debt from years of fiscal mismanagement.
  3. It relies on data, and data alone, to drive resources to the schools that need it most, including Chicago.
  4. It ensures that all schools are treated the same under a formula that is the same for everyone, regardless of zip code.
House Bill 4069 is a realistic and fair, and it represents the best and most reasonable outcome for all Illinois students.

For a side-by-side comparison of funding levels under House Bill 4069 and Senate Bill 1, click here