LaSalle News Tribune | LaSalle, IL
 
close
Due to weather related issues, in some areas there may be delayed deliveries of your Monday issue of the NewsTribune.
If road conditions are severe enough, your delivery person may not be able to deliver your NewsTribune at all on Monday.
In this case, your Monday edition will be delivered with your Tuesday newspaper.
We ask you to be understanding for the safety of our carriers.

You can view Tuesday's newspaper online at http://newstribonline.com
 


home : news : north central illinois   August 1, 2014

5/9/2014 3:40:00 PM
Major gains, losses for area schools?


Kevin Caufield
Staff Writer



School districts in the Illinois Valley and statewide see gains — and losses — under a proposal that would drastically overhaul Illinois’ complicated school funding formula for the first time in almost two decades.

State Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill said the state Board of Education’s database detailing the estimated impact to the state’s 860 school districts, released Wednesday, more clearly illustrates that his proposal would provide equity to rich and poor districts across Illinois. Under the plan, the vast majority of total state education funding would be distributed by factoring in districts’ poverty levels.

If passed, it would mean major funding gains and losses for most Illinois Valley school districts.

For example, the new funding formula would bring an additional $1.04 million to La Salle Elementary School District while La Salle-Peru Township High School would lose $177,000.

Other notable districts that would gain funding include: Peru Elementary ($172,000), Oglesby Elementary ($287,000), Hall High School ($106,000) and Spring Valley Elementary ($671,000).

Providing the specifics of how much money school districts stand to gain or lose also makes clear the political risk for lawmakers in voting for such legislation during an election year, particularly in the well-heeled suburbs, where lawmakers in vulnerable swing districts may be hesitant to anger voters.

“It looks like, yet again, this is an attempt to reach into the suburban pockets to solve other people’s problem,” Republican state Sen. Matt Murphy, said in response to the numbers.

Schools in Palatine, Murphy’s hometown, would see an 87 percent decrease in overall state aid under the funds — about a $13 million dip compared to how much they received in the 2011-12 school year, the year the state board used to make the calculations.

Similarly, schools in Skokie and Evanston in Chicago’s northwest suburbs would lose 85 percent of state aid under the new formula.

Meanwhile, Galesburg schools could stand to gain a 30 percent funding boost — about $5 million more a year than they receive now.

Schools in Red Bud, an Illinois suburb of St. Louis, would see an 83 percent decrease.

As it stands now, Illinois schools get state money in a variety of ways. General state aid — the money used to offset the basic cost of educating students — is based on a formula that factors in poverty levels. This year, less than 45 percent of the $6.7 billion the state spent on preschool through 12th-grade education was on general state aid.

But districts also get grants to use on programs such as special education, transportation and vocational training, which don’t factor in poverty. Districts must submit expense claims for those programs and are reimbursed based on the number of students they serve.

The exception is Chicago, which receives a percentage of all state education dollars to spend at its own discretion. As a result, critics charge, it has received hundreds of millions more than if it were held to the same standard as other districts.

Since the last time the state’s school funding formula was changed in 1997, increases to spending on specialized programs have outpaced increases to general state aid — which proponents of the plan say results in the poorest districts often hurting the most, with wealthier districts getting more overall funding during tough budget years.

The disparity in local tax dollars pouring into school districts, along with state aid, currently produces a wide range in the average amount various districts are able to spend educating their students.

“The circumstance that we have to account for is that we have districts that even if they wanted to, couldn’t tax themselves enough to achieve equity,” Manar told a Senate committee.

The legislation passed out of committee Wednesday and could be voted on in the Senate as early as next week, Manar said.

The measure is SB16.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.










Login to your account:
  Username:
  Password:
Remember me
Login reminder
  If you'd like to comment on this article, please log in or click here to subscribe.

MyIV Dining MyIV Briefs MyIV Offers

 

Subscription Login
LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE






Is note from '29 a Triumph treasure, or just a bill?
Updated: 7/31/2014 7:20:00 PM
A look at the first time we met Obama
Updated: 8/1/2014 2:36:00 PM
Where Are They Now? Craig McCormick
For the Record (8-1-2014): Births, baptism, police reports
Want to be your own boss? Here's how
Psychiatric exam ordered for man in police standoff


Illinois Valley Events
<
August
>
SMTWTFS
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            



Photo GalleryVideo LibraryAdvertise With UsMagazinesDealsAbout UsAP Terms of UseExtra Content


Copyright 2014 NewsTribune, LaSalle, Illinois. All rights reserved.

Software © 1998-2014 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved