SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education today released figures showing how much state aid each school district in Illinois will receive under Gov. Bruce Rauner’s plan to fully fund education to the foundation level for the first time in seven years. Under the Governor’s proposal, total education funding will increase by $120 million in Illinois for fiscal year 2017.
This is the first time in seven years that General State Aid (GSA) payments will not be prorated, and it is the second year of record funding to education in Illinois. The practice of proration, which has been common in Illinois in recent history, is the result of not fully funding the foundation level. Proration has served to disproportionately affect those school districts that most rely on state aid.
“Every school district in Illinois will do better under the Governor’s plan to fully fund the foundation level than they would have under the recent practice of proration, and the vast majority of school districts will receive more state money than last year,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “By fully funding education and ending proration, we’re putting more money into the classrooms to educate our young scholars.”
Three factors go into the current school funding formula: school enrollment, the number and percentage of students in a district that live in poverty, and the local resources available to a district based on property values. Any school that sees a significant increase or decrease in funding from year to year can trace its situation back to the variability of those three factors.
For example, a district that has a decrease in enrollment, fewer children living in poverty, and an increase in property values will see a decrease in its GSA. Conversely, a district with increasing enrollment that serves a higher percentage of students living in poverty and has falling property values will see an increase in its GSA. In a review of the FY 2017 K-12 education budget, ISBE’s analysis indicates the overwhelming majority of districts seeing a reduction in GSA have seen a decrease in enrollment and a decrease in the number of students living in poverty.
“By fully funding education, we are showing the people of Illinois that our children’s education is the state’s top priority,” Secretary of Education Beth Purvis said. “We owe it our teachers to fully fund education to ensure they can prepare our students to be engaged citizens with rich and rewarding careers. I urge the General Assembly to act swiftly in passing the Governor’s proposed FY 2017 education budget to end any uncertainty for districts so they can begin planning for the 2016-17 school year with a record level of funding.”