Downstate Schools Need SB1!

Legislation, Equitable Funding | 06/23/2017

Aimee Galvin
Policy Manager

Aimee weaves data and research together to show the social, political, and economic impact of policy.

An analysis was recently released that shows the impact of the school funding reform bill on downstate schools.

Spoiler alert: it finds that under an SB1 veto, “downstate schools will be among the biggest casualties in Illinois. The reason for this is simple…the gap in having adequate resources to educate students is greater downstate than it is overall state-wide.”

If you live downstate like me, I bet you’re not surprised. We have 34% of the student population, but 40% of the “adequacy gap.” (That’s the fancy term for describing the gap between what the state funds and what schools really need to run well.) SB1 would bring over $120 million to downstate schools. Have you heard anyone refer to the bill as a “Beardstown bailout”? How about a “Kankakee kickback,” or “Streator sweepstakes,” or “Herrin handout”? The new formula gives each of those districts more than twice as much per pupil as it gives Chicago Public Schools.

The bottomline is: SB1 isn’t a bailout for anybody. It’s a long-overdue fix to a broken and outdated school funding system, identified as the most inequitable one in the nation. Downstate schools only do so well under SB1 because the system has shortchanged us for so long. Our kids deserve a solution. #signSB1

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