For Immediate Release
April 24, 2014

Education Funding Advisory Board to work toward K-12 recommendation

Committee will determine the foundation level for an adequate education for fiscal year 2015

CHICAGO — The Illinois Education Funding Advisory Board (EFAB) will convene Thursday, April 24, to begin work on its recommendation for adequate education funding. The state-mandated advisory committee must recommend by January 2015 the minimum per-pupil funding necessary to adequately educate each student in the state’s K-12 public schools. State and local funding sources make up this statutorily set funding, known as the foundation level.

“As we look at the various budget scenarios for fiscal year 2015, it’s important that we remember the important work undertaken by the members of EFAB for the past several years,” said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. “While we may not reach the EFAB recommendation today, it’s critical that we keep our focus on moving toward more equitable and adequate education funding.”

In the most recent EFAB report, issued in January 2013, the advisory committee called for a number of changes, primarily increasing the foundation level from the current statutorily set foundation level of $6,119 to $8,672. It’s important to note that districts are not receiving the full foundation level today because state appropriations have not covered the full General State Aid claims, forcing across-the board-proration of district General State Aid (GSA) payments for several years. In FY 2014, which runs July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014, GSA was prorated at 89 percent of the total GSA claim.  

EFAB also recommended increasing the per-pupil grant range of Supplemental GSA for low-income students, from $355-$2,994 to $490-$4,129. The cost of Supplemental GSA is growing as the number of low-income pupils increases and as they make up a larger proportion of the overall student population, now comprising half of all students. Even as the low-income student population has grown, the total student population statewide has declined slightly. The growth in low-income students has taken place in all geographic regions of the state. These recommendations would have required an additional $5.6 billion in total GSA funding for the current fiscal year.

Additionally, EFAB recommended in January 2013 that the state provide the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) with adequate resources and called for further study of the state funding formula, an endeavor that has been undertaken by ISBE and lawmakers. 

“While EFAB recognizes the dire financial position of the State of Illinois, the lack of adequate funding for basic education is a failure of the state’s moral and fiduciary responsibilities,” the report states.

EFAB, established by law in 1997, is required to provide both the General Assembly and the Governor with a recommended foundation level every two years. This week’s meeting marks the first time the EFAB has met since Jan. 15, 2013, when it issued its last report. The advisory committee must submit its next recommendation by January 2015.

The following items are on the agenda for this week’s meeting:

Four members currently sit on the EFAB: Chairwoman Sylvia Puente, Executive Director of the Latino Policy Forum; Sheila Harrison-Williams, Superintendent of Hazel Crest School District 152.5; Cinda Klickna, President of the Illinois Education Association; and Daniel Montgomery, President of the Illinois Federation of Teachers. There is one vacancy.

The video-conference meeting will begin at 10 a.m.

Chicago Location: ISBE Video Conference Room, 1th Floor, 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago.

Springfield Location: ISBE Video Conference Room, 3rd Floor, 100 N. First St., Springfield.

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