Schools do better under new school funding reform law
Last summer, Illinois lawmakers passed, and the Governor signed, an historic, school funding law. Then, during the fall veto session, the General Assembly passed a trailer bill (Senate Bill 444) making two technical changes dealing with how Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) is calculated in the new school funding formula. The trailer bill advanced so the modeling done by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for the new formula matched up with school funding law.
This is unprecedented in terms of school funding, where typically lawmakers get a model of the bill as it was enacted, rather than changing the enacted bill to match the modeling.
Unfortunately, ISBE pointed out the discrepancy too late. However, as it turns out, Illinois school districts fare much better under current law than they would under Senate Bill 444. It is also important that ISBE has noted that “implementation of the new funding law will occur regardless of Senate Bill 444” and they will “allocate tier funding based on the law as written.”