SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today issued vouchers to the Illinois State Comptroller, paving the way for the tier funding portion of fiscal year 2018 Evidence-Based Funding to flow to the most under-resourced districts.
ISBE issued vouchers according to the planned timeline, concluding months of extraordinary partnership with school districts and lawmakers to deliver accurate and on-time distributions.
“Implementing a radically new funding formula required extraordinary effort by ISBE staff and school districts,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “I deeply appreciate Governor Rauner and the General Assembly’s commitment through the passage, cleanup, and distribution of this historic first year of Evidence-Based Funding.”
ISBE posted the complete model of fiscal year 2018 Evidence-Based Funding calculations on the ISBE website at www.isbe.net/ebfdist
“The EBF numbers show staggering inequity,” Smith said. “We now have common language to talk about the needs of our students and the situated-ness of our schools within communities. We have a common understanding of what all of our children deserve. Evidence-Based Funding puts us on the path to deliver on the promise of equity for all Illinois’ students. Investing in equity is the superior growth strategy for our state.”
ISBE led a collaborative process with school districts to verify detailed enrollment counts for the past three years. The EBF formula defines an adequate funding target for each school district, based on enrollment numbers and the cost of 34 factors proven to deliver the greatest positive impact to students. The formula compares each district’s current resources to its unique adequacy target. Increases in state education appropriations go to the most under-resourced districts.
Tier funding totals approximately $395 million statewide, including $29 million specifically for English Learners in the highest need districts. ISBE issues EBF vouchers twice per month from August through June. School districts have been receiving the base funding minimum, or hold harmless, portion of EBF. The final six EBF vouchers for FY 2018 will contain all of the FY 2018 tier funding. The Comptroller is responsible for processing the vouchers and distributing funds to school districts.
The EBF formula requires an additional $7.2 billion investment to provide adequate funding for every school district in the state.