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May 16, 2014

State school aid formula isn't quite finished

There's no denying that Illinois' current school funding formula is riddled with inequities. One example: Under Gov. Pat Quinn's education budget proposal, some well-to-do suburban Chicago school districts would get an increase in state dollars while many more moderate income districts would suffer.

Senate Bill 16 is supposed to correct inequities like that, but after the state ran the calculations, it appears this bill is not quite ready for prime time. We understand that increasing the money for some districts means funding has to go down in others. Still, Edwardsville District 7, which has cut millions of dollars in spending the past few years, would lose $2 million under this proposal. That's too big a hit for this district to absorb.

We hope that SB 16 can be tweaked enough during the final weeks of the legislative session to make it more equitable. Illinois needs to move away from the current formula as quickly as possible because educators all agree that it's not working.

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