Wednesday, September 6, 2017

School Funding Update - September 5, 2017

On August 31, 2017, Governor Rauner signed SB 1947, a school funding compromise bill into law.  This marked a historic day for school funding in Illinois, as we move toward a more equitable and adequate model of funding public education in the state.

The funding formula is based on an evidenced based model that was created over the past three years.  The equity portions of the bill are most similar to SB 1, and we have been told that the SB 1 models are most accurate.  

The compromises involve four main areas, none of which directly affect USD116 or Urbana taxpayers at this time.
  • Mandate relief - Eases state rules about Physical Education and removes restrictions on contracting with commercial driving schools to provide driver's education training
  • Tax Credit Scholarships - Provides a 75% tax credit on any donations made to private school scholarships
  • Chicago Tax Levy - Authorizes an additional .567% levy in the Chicago Public School District to pay its debt for the Chicago teachers’ pensions
  • Property Tax Relief - Creates two systems to address high property taxes in communities that either have the highest rates or have districts that are funded at or above 110% adequacy.  Urbana does not come close to fitting either one of these categories at this time

What SB 1947 means for USD116:
  • We are currently at 76% of adequacy with our current funding, which places us in Tier 2 Funding
  • Current models indicate that we would see an increase in GSA of $160K over last year's state revenues
  • There are 27 Core Instructional Elements that are incorporated into the evidenced based formula, including class size, professional development, librarians, and others (See Chart)