Christian County schools to receive $800K to bridge inequity

SPRINGFIELD – Pana public schools will receive nearly $428,000 in new money under Illinois’ education funding formula overhaul, an initiative driven largely by Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill.

The Illinois State Board of Education on Thursday issued vouchers to the state comptroller that clear the way for school districts around the state to begin receiving money under Illinois’ new evidence-based model of funding public schools.

The distribution – which is based on detailed enrollment figures, district-specific student learning needs, available local resources and other data – is the first step toward right-sizing state support for every school district. No schools will ever receive less state funding than they do today under the new plan.

“The data we have now reinforces what we already knew: that there is astonishing unfairness in how school districts around Illinois are funded,” Manar said.

“We have school districts with more than double the amount of resources it should take to educate their particular students, while other school districts have barely half of what they need. It’s been this way of years, and it’s going to come to an end.”

Two Christian County school districts – Pana CUSD 8 and South Fork CUSD 14 – were categorized as “Tier 1” schools, meaning they are among the most underfunded districts in the state. The other districts in the county were put in Tier 2 because they are considerably underfunded.

Manar credited the staff at the state board of education for their efforts working with school districts and lawmakers to pull together the necessary data and calculate the distribution amounts in April as promised. He called it a historic turning point for school districts, especially those in rural and downstate Illinois.

The distributions for Christian County are as follows:

Christian Co EBM final 650

Category: School Funding Reform

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