The EBF Cost Factors – A Framework for Describing Investments
The EBF Spending Plan contains several questions that ask Organizational Units to indicate planned investments with state funds. Rather than providing a list of general investment categories, the FY 2024 EBF Spending Plan uses the funding formula’s 34 cost factors as a framework for describing planned investments. These investment categories represent common drivers of district spending, such as costs related to staffing, substitutes, central office services, special education programming, etc. The inclusion of the cost factors as a framework for describing investments is meant to increase awareness of how the funding formula determines adequacy and inform productive local dialogue about resource allocation.
The 34 cost factors represent possible -- but not required -- investment categories. EBF is an unrestricted funding source except for the funds provided for English learners, special education, or low-income students. Additionally, the cost factors do not account for all district expenditures. Certain high-cost items, such as food service or transportation expenditures, are not represented by any cost factor. In cases where the cost factors do not align with planned expenditures, users may indicate “Other” and provide brief narrative context. See below for the statutory definitions for each cost factor. Additional guidance on this topic will be provided later this spring.
Core Teachers - Means a regular classroom teacher in elementary schools and teachers of a core subject in middle and high schools. A "Core Subject" means mathematics; science; reading, English, writing and language arts; history and social studies; world languages; and subjects taught as Advanced Placement in high schools.
Specialist Teachers - Means a teacher who provides instruction in subject areas not included in core subjects, including, but not limited to, art, music, physical education, health, driver education, career-technical education, and such other subject areas as may be mandated by State law or provided by an Organizational Unit.
Instructional Facilitator - Means a qualified teacher or licensed teacher leader who facilitates and coaches continuous improvement in classroom instruction; provides instructional support to teachers in the elements of research-based instruction or demonstrates the alignment of instruction with curriculum standards and assessment tools; develops or coordinates instructional programs or strategies; develops and implements training; chooses standards-based instructional materials; provides teachers with an understanding of current research; serves as a mentor, site coach, curriculum specialist, or lead teacher; or otherwise works with fellow teachers, in collaboration, to use data to improve instructional practice or develop model lessons.
Core Intervention Teacher - Means a licensed teacher providing one-on-one or small group tutoring to students struggling to meet proficiency in core subjects.
Substitute Teacher - Means an individual teacher or teaching assistant who is employed by an Organizational Unit and is temporarily serving the Organizational Unit on a per diem or per period-assignment basis replacing another staff member.
Guidance Counselor - Means a licensed guidance counselor who provides guidance and counseling support for students within an Organizational Unit.
Nurse - Means an individual licensed as a certified school nurse, in accordance with the rules established for nursing services by the State Board, who is an employee of and is available to provide health care-related services for students of an Organizational Unit.
Supervisory Aide - Means a non-licensed staff member who helps in supervising students of an Organizational Unit, but does so outside of the classroom, in situations such as, but not limited to, monitoring hallways and playgrounds, supervising lunchrooms, or supervising students when being transported in buses serving the Organizational Unit.
Librarian - Means a teacher with an endorsement as a library information specialist or another individual whose primary responsibility is overseeing library resources within an Organizational Unit.
Librarian Aide - Undefined in statute, these positions assist school librarians.
Principal - Means a school administrator duly endorsed to be employed as a principal in this State.
Assistant Principal - Means a school administrator duly endorsed to be employed as an assistant principal in this State.
School Site Staff - Means the primary school secretary and any additional clerical personnel assigned to a school.
Gifted - Means investments described in Section 14A-20 of the School Code.
Professional Development - Means training programs for licensed staff in schools, including, but not limited to, programs that assist in implementing new curriculum programs, provide data focused or academic assessment data training to help staff identify a student's weaknesses and strengths, target interventions, improve instruction, encompass instructional strategies for English learner, gifted, or at-risk students, address inclusivity, cultural sensitivity, or implicit bias, or otherwise provide professional support for licensed staff.
Instructional Materials - Means relevant instructional materials for student instruction, including, but not limited to, textbooks, consumable workbooks, laboratory equipment, library books, and other similar materials.
Assessments - Means any of those benchmark, progress monitoring, formative, diagnostic, and other assessments, in addition to the State accountability assessment, that assist teachers' needs in understanding the skills and meeting the needs of the students they serve.
Computer & Tech Equipment - Means computer servers, notebooks, network equipment, copiers, printers, instructional software, security software, curriculum management courseware, and other similar materials and equipment.
Student Activities - Means non-credit producing after-school programs, including, but not limited to, clubs, bands, sports, and other activities authorized by the school board of the Organizational Unit.
Maintenance & Operations - Means custodial services, facility and ground maintenance, facility operations, facility security, routine facility repairs, and other similar services and functions.
Central Office - Means individual administrators and support service personnel charged with managing the instructional programs, business and operations, and security of the Organizational Unit.
Employee Benefits - Means health, dental, and vision insurance offered to employees of an Organizational Unit, the costs associated with statutorily required payment of the normal cost of the Organizational Unit's teacher pensions, Social Security employer contributions, and Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund employer contributions.
"At-risk student" means a student who is at risk of not meeting the Illinois Learning Standards or not graduating from elementary or high school and who demonstrates a need for vocational support or social services beyond that provided by the regular school program. All students included in an Organizational Unit's Low-Income Count, as well as all English learner and disabled students attending the Organizational Unit, shall be considered at-risk students under this Section.
Low-Income Intervention Teacher - Means a licensed teacher providing one-on-one or small group tutoring to students struggling to meet proficiency in core subjects.
Low-Income Pupil Support Staff - Means a nurse, psychologist, social worker, family liaison personnel, or other staff member who provides support to at-risk or struggling students.
Low-Income Extended Day Teacher - "Extended day" means academic and enrichment programs provided to students outside the regular school day before and after school or during non-instructional times during the school day.
Low-Income Summer School Teacher - "Summer school" means academic and enrichment programs provided to students during the summer months outside of the regular school year.
English Learner or "EL" means a child included in the definition of "English learners" under Section 14C-2 of the School Code participating in a program of transitional bilingual education or a transitional program of instruction meeting the requirements and program application procedures of Article 14C of the School Code.
EL Intervention Teacher - Means a licensed teacher providing one-on-one or small group tutoring to students struggling to meet proficiency in core subjects.
EL Pupil Support Staff - Means a nurse, psychologist, social worker, family liaison personnel, or other staff member who provides support to at-risk or struggling students.
EL Extended Day Teacher - "Extended day" means academic and enrichment programs provided to students outside the regular school day before and after school or during non-instructional times during the school day.
EL Summer School Teacher - "Summer school" means academic and enrichment programs provided to students during the summer months outside of the regular school year.
EL Core Teacher - Means a regular classroom teacher in elementary schools and teachers of a core subject in middle and high schools. A "Core Subject" means mathematics; science; reading, English, writing and language arts; history and social studies; world languages; and subjects taught as Advanced Placement in high schools.
Special education or "Sp Ed" means special educational facilities and services, as defined in Section 14-1.08 of the School Code.
Sp Ed Core Teacher - Means a regular classroom teacher in elementary schools and teachers of a core subject in middle and high schools. A "Core Subject" means mathematics; science; reading, English, writing and language arts; history and social studies; world languages; and subjects taught as Advanced Placement in high schools.
Sp Ed Instructional Assistant - Means a core or special education, non-licensed employee who assists a teacher in the classroom and provides academic support to students.
Sp Ed Psychologist - Means a psychologist who meets the qualifications of 14-1.09 of the School Code
Adequacy Target - EBF provides an estimated minimum cost of educating students in each district. The formula accounts for actual local enrollment to calculate adequate spending. As an educational concept, adequacy refers to providing a sufficient level of resources to meet learning standards. Importantly, the Adequacy Target is not actual funding; it is simply an estimate of adequate resources for each district.
Cost Factors - To calculate the Adequacy Target, EBF applies statute-defined staffing ratios, as well as per-student amounts for other common expenditures, to Average Student Enrollment in the district. Some cost factors account for the costs of staffing schools, while others, like professional development and technology, estimate costs on a per-student basis. The Adequacy Target includes additional investments to account for the cost of providing more support for students who require special education services or who are English learners or low-income.
Base Funding Minimum - The Base Funding Minimum (BFM) is a hold-harmless provision that ensured each organizational unit would receive an amount at least equal to what it received in FY 2017 from five grant programs: General State Aid, Special Education – Personnel, Special Education – Funding for Children Requiring Special Education Services, Special Education – Summer School, and English Learner Education. Each year that districts receive Tier Funding, that funding becomes part of the next fiscal year’s BFM, so districts are always receiving at least the funding that they received the year prior. The BFM will also include prior year Property Tax Relief Grant amounts if distributed the prior year and received by an Organizational Unit.
Final Resources - The EBF formula considers the local capacity of each district to fund education. This calculation uses the Local Capacity Target (a measure of local wealth), the Base Funding Minimum, and Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax revenue to determine available resources.
Percentage of Adequacy - Each district’s Percentage of Adequacy is calculated by dividing its Final Resources by the Adequacy Target to determine how far away each district is from having the minimum resources it needs. The resulting percentage determines a district’s Tier Assignment, which drives the distribution of Tier Funding.
Tier Funding - Appropriations for EBF above the Base Funding Minimum amount are available for distribution as Tier Funding. Districts are eligible to receive Tier Funding based on their Tier Assignment. Districts in Tier 1 and 2 have the lowest Percentages of Adequacy. EBF directs 99% of Tier Funding to these districts. The remainder is distributed to districts in Tiers 3 and 4, which have Percentages of Adequacy equal to or greater than 90%.