New formula confirms Decatur schools significantly underfunded

SPRINGFIELD – Decatur public schools will receive more than $2.3 million in new money under Illinois’ school 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.”

Decatur CUSD 61 was categorized as “Tier 1,” meaning it is among the least adequately funded school districts in the state.

Using the evidence-based model criteria, ISBE set the district’s base funding minimum at $47.5 million and determined it should receive an additional $2,310,791.40 in new money in the first year of the new formula.

To learn more about distribution figures ISBE released today for school districts throughout Macon County and statewide, visit isbe.net/ebf2018.

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.

Category: School Funding Reform

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