Last Thursday, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law SB1947. The bill includes a new formula that will change the manner in which funding is distributed to school districts. Many people have expressed their relief that school districts are “out of the woods”. People may have the impression that because the State of Illinois recently passed a budget and enacted a new evidence-based funding formula, the financial challenges facing school districts are over. This is not the case. The Illinois Association of School Administrators anticipates that it will take several years of state budget allocations before schools reach adequacy in funding to support education for their students.
So, how does the new evidence-based funding formula work? Based on the individual demographics and characteristics of a school district, an “adequacy target” of funding for the district is calculated. In simple terms, the “adequacy target” is the calculated amount of money the school district requires to educate its student population based on factors supported by evidentiary research. Each school district will have a unique adequacy target as each school district serves a unique student population.