Macoupin County schools to receive $2.5 million to bridge inequity

SPRINGFIELD – Gillespie public schools will receive nearly $680,000 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 local school districts 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.

“There are school districts in this state 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.”

Macoupin County school districts will receive more than $2.5 million in new money under the formula change. Of the eight public school districts in Macoupin County, ISBE categorized all of them as “Tier 1,” meaning they are among the most underfunded districts in the state.

The amounts of new money under the evidence-based model include more than $421,000 for Staunton CUSD 6 and about $51,000 for Northwestern CUSD 2.

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 Macoupin County schools are as follows:

Macoupin Co EBM Numbers Final 650

Category: School Funding Reform

Manar urges governor to sign measure promptly

03132018 ManarSPRINGFIELD – The state will be able to distribute eagerly awaited funding under Illinois’ new education formula as soon as April under legislation approved by the Senate – as long as the governor chooses to act quickly when it reaches his desk.

The measure, approved Wednesday, is a trailer bill to Illinois’ historic 550-page school funding reform law. It was requested by state education officials who said clarifications and corrections were needed to the original language before they could ensure money would be distributed as intended under the new funding model.

House Bill 5812 already has House approval. Once Gov. Bruce Rauner signs it, the Illinois State Board of Education can finalize its calculations and begin distributing funding to school districts under the new law.

Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) urged the governor to act without delay. He also encouraged state education officials to remember that people all over Illinois are counting on them to move more quickly and more efficiently to implement the new formula.

“The new school funding law represents a massive change in policy for Illinois. We knew it would take some time to get it off the ground, and it’s important to make sure it’s done correctly as we go along,” said Manar, a driving force behind school funding reform in Illinois.

“However, it’s been more than six months since the new model became law. School superintendents are understandably frustrated. The longer this drags on, the more impatient people become and the less they trust Springfield.

“Let’s move forward so we can bridge the funding gaps we have in Illinois and help our least-funded school districts get the resources they desperately need.”

Category: School Funding Reform

SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement regarding the Senate’s vote to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s erroneous veto of Senate Bill 444:

The Senate’s override vote helps to correct a poor governing decision that so far has delayed execution of the new school funding formula by nearly three months. I look forward to the House taking the same course of action so that we can put this sorry situation is behind us and allow the Illinois State Board of Education to move forward with its work. Schools and communities all over the state are anxious for this to be ironed out once and for all.

Category: School Funding Reform

AWM08132017 350BUNKER HILL – The governor’s veto of a simple trailer bill this afternoon creates potential chaos for every Illinois school that stands to benefit from long-overdue funding reform, State Senator Andy Manar said today.

The last-minute veto of Senate Bill 444, technical cleanup legislation requested by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s own administration and passed quickly by the General Assembly two months ago, boggles the mind, said Manar, the chief Senate sponsor of Illinois’ historic, bipartisan school funding reform overhaul.

“Here’s what Gov. Rauner accomplished today: absolute chaos while undoing all of the equity components in the school funding reform legislation that he takes credit for passing,” said Manar (D-Bunker Hill). “Underfunded schools that have been subjected to an unfair formula for decades will have to continue to wait because of Bruce Rauner’s inexplicable actions today.”

The General Assembly responded immediately in November to a request from the Illinois State Board of Education, part of the Rauner administration, with bipartisan legislation to help the state quickly implement the new school funding formula.

But rather than immediately sign SB444, Gov. Rauner sat on the measure and issued a last-minute amendatory veto this afternoon. That veto now stands to derail implementation of the new formula, which ISBE had indicated it was on track to move forward with immediately.

“Today, Gov. Rauner tossed his own request in the trash by once again unconstitutionally rewriting legislation, just like he did last year with his veto of Senate Bill 1, the school funding reform bill,” Manar said. “I am truly perplexed and puzzled by the motivations of this governor, who claims to care deeply about public education in Illinois. Why would he veto a bill that he sought in the first place?”

Category: School Funding Reform

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