ManarPanaStudents350Illinois is poised to replace its rotten school funding formula with a new formula that ensures schools throughout the state are fairly and adequately funded for the first time in decades.

On May 31, the Legislature approved a landmark overhaul approved a landmark overhaul of the school funding formula. Under Senate Bill 1, no schools would lose any funding – an important point because it alleviates concerns about “winners” and “losers” that arose under past school funding reform models.

Schools in the central Illinois district I represent have scraped by for years with old textbooks and art classes in cramped janitors’ closets, while students in wealthier areas of the state flourished in schools with the latest classroom technology, STEM resources, orchestras and swimming pools.

Senate Bill 1 aims to level the playing field by funneling new money to school districts that are the least able to offer a high-quality education based on student needs, local property wealth and a district’s taxing effort.

I've provided a list of my area school districts below and estimates of how they would fare under the Illinois State Board of Education’s modeling of Senate Bill 1.

Even though every Illinois school would benefit under this plan – which is widely supported by school administrators, educators and funding reform advocates – few Republican lawmakers voted to support it, and Gov. Rauner has pledged to veto it (though he flip-flopped on two Chicago radio interviews, calling it a good bill).

Republicans have staged a misinformation campaign since last week, resorting to publishing fake numbers that intentionally mislead constituents and hide the truth about why they voted against a plan that benefits schools in their districts.

School funding reform is an initiative that I’ve championed for years. I’ve traveled to far-flung Illinois towns to explain how the formula works. My commitment to reforming this broken system of ours has meant long drives, late nights and time away from my family.

The years of discussion, research and bipartisan negotiation gave way finally to full legislative approval of Senate Bill 1. It’s a good bill that corrects a long-standing wrong and puts all of our children on the path to a brighter future.
To watch colleagues in the Legislature now manipulate the facts in an attempt to kill this measure because of politics makes my stomach turn.

That’s why I’m calling on each of you to make an investment of your own time in this cause – whether you’re a parent, a taxpayer or both. Read the legislation or an analysis and seek out credible news sources to develop an understanding of what school districts throughout Illinois are up against. Send me your questions; as the sponsor of three school funding reform bills, I’ve learned a lot about the issue, and I am happy to share that knowledge with you.

And when you, too, are satisfied that Senate Bill 1 is the fairest approach to funding all Illinois schools, I hope you will join me in urging Gov. Rauner to sign it into law.

Because, regardless of what you’ve been told, nobody is trying to “bail out” one particular school district. We’re trying to rescue hundreds of them.

Continue reading to find the following information:

  • accurate estimates of how local school districts would fare under Senate Bill 1
  • links to find out how your elected officials voted on Senate Bill 1
  • contact information for Gov. Rauner so you can urge him to sign Senate Bill 1
  • links to recent news about Senate Bill 1 and the school funding crisis in Illinois

ManarSchoolsFMinusHow would Senate Bill 1 affect my school?

The Illinois State Board of Education modeled how schools in the 48th Senate District and elsewhere in the state would benefit from Senate Bill 1 using Fiscal Year 2017 numbers. No schools would receive less funding than they received in FY17 under Senate Bill 1.

ISBE is a state agency under the oversight of the Rauner administration. These figures are estimates and assume an investment of $350 million by the state of Illinois.

You can find more data like this at Funding Illinois' Future. This is a coalition of more than 200 school districts, superintendents, educators, and community- and faith-based organizations that support Senate Bill 1 and giving every Illinois student the education they deserve.

School district name, followed by amount of estimated overall gain under SB1

Bunker Hill CUSD 8 — $199,727
Carlinville CUSD 1 — $258,843
Central A&M CU Dist. 21 — $56,183
Decatur SD 61 — $2.77 million
Edinburg CUSD 4 — $10,344
Gillespie Comm Unit SD 7 — $623,673
Hillsboro Comm Unit SD 3 — $194,056
Litchfield CUSD 12 — $293,226
Morrisonville CUSD 1 — $17,966
Mount Olive CUSD 5 — $124,304
Nokomis Comm Unit SD 22 — $201,822
North Mac CUSD 34 — $410,982
Pana Comm Unit SD 8 — $468,590
Panhandle Comm Unit SD 2 — $28,788
Rochester Comm Unit SD 3A — $159,033
Sangamon Valley CUSD 9 — $51,430
South Fork District 14 — $128,266
Southwestern CUSD 9 — $296,416
Staunton Comm Unit SD 6 — $353,874
Taylorville CUSD 3 — $314,210

Other area school districts

Alton Comm Unit SD 11 — $953,238
Auburn Comm Unit SD 10 — $474,829
Ball Chatham CUSD 5 — $160,607
Bethalto CUSD 8 — $694,274
East Alton SD 13 — $349,665
East Alton-Wood River CHSD 14 — $269,160
Edinburg CUSD 4 — $10,344
Jersey CUSD 100 — $196,058
North Greene Unit SD 3 — $246,518
Riverton CUSD 14 — $567,582
Sangamon Valley CUSD 9 — $51,430
South Fork SD 14 — $128,266
Springfield SD 186 — $1.08 million


How did my lawmaker vote on Senate Bill 1?


How can I share my opinion with Gov. Rauner?

If you believe Gov. Rauner should sign Senate Bill 1 to put an end to Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation school funding formula and give all students an equal shot at a high-quality education, regardless of their ZIP code, then tell him so. He needs to hear from you.

  • Tell him in an email.
  • Tell him on the phone: 217-782-0244.
  • Tell him on Twitter: @GovRauner
  • Tell him in a letter: Office of the Governor, 207 State House, Springfield IL 62706
  • Tell him on Facebook.


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Springfield Office:
119A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-0228
Fax: (217) 557-3930

Decatur Office:
Macon County Office Building
141 S. Main St., Suite 502
Decatur, IL 62523
Phone: (217) 429-8110
Fax: (217) 429-8018

Bunker Hill Office:
115 N. Washington, P.O. Box 636
Bunker Hill, IL 62014
Phone: (618) 585-4848