Proposed IL School Funding Formula Changes Help Some, Hurt Other - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Proposed IL School Funding Formula Changes Help Some, Hurt Others

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As Illinois lawmakers continue to look at overhauling the state's school funding formula, a new analysis from the Illinois Board of Education shows the kind of impact the proposed changes would have on districts across the state.

In our area, the results are mixed.

Across Illinois right now, the average spending per pupil is $11,841.53. But spending in individual districts varies wildly, depending on where you live and how much money is available locally for education. The lowest per pupil spending in the state, $6,015, is in the Paris-Union School District in Edgar County; the highest, $25,290, is in the Seneca Township High School District in McHenry County. Nine of the top ten districts when it comes to highest per pupil spending are in Cook county and the surrounding collar counties. 

The proposed overhaul of the funding formula is meant to level the playing field.

It would attempt to equalize state aid depending on each district's relative wealth, while weighting the size of each district's student population in the formula on the number of students with high needs, like special ed and English language learners.

But streamlining the current funding formula into the proposed single foundation funding formula would help some of our districts, but hurt others when it comes to state funding. Click here to see the breakdown for each district in the state.

Prophetstown, for example, would get about $689 more in state aid per student under the proposed new formula - an increase of 19.1 percent.

Many other school districts would come out on top, too. Among them:

Rock Falls would see a 17.3 percent increase, or $619 more per student

East Moline would see a 41.5 percent increase in state funding. That's $1,361 more per student

Silvis would see a 37.3 percent increase, or $1,282 per student

Rock Island's state funding wouldincrease1 percent, or $1,068 per student

ROWVA would see a 10.2 percent increase - $327 per student each year

The Mercer County School district would see its state funding increase 2.0%. That's $6 per student.

But, the funding changes would have other districts in our area seeing less, including:

Riverdale, which would see $143 less per student from the state, a 5.7 percent decrease

Rockridge would see a 17.3 percent reduction in state funding, or $317 less per student

The Carbon Cliff-Barstow district would see a 5.8 percent decrease - $361 per student

Ohio Comm Cons School 17 - a 28.5 percent decrease amounting to $899 less per student

Bureau Valley would see its state funding reduced by 3.2 percent, or $113 per student

Orion would see a 3.4 percent decrease - That's $84 less per student each year.

And, some local districts, especially those that are considered flat grant districts by the state, would see even bigger reductions.

The Erie Community School District, for example, would have its state funding slashed by nearly 80 percent under the new formula, if approved.

At least some of our local lawmakers say that's unacceptable.

"There are winners and there's losers in this new program and what we need to do is make sure that the winners stay winners but the losers, we figure out something different to make sure that they don't lose all of that funding," said Rep. Mike Smiddy, D-Port Byron.

Rep. Smiddy says he doubts any school funding reform will be passed before the current legislative session ends in three weeks. The state Senate still has to approve the current proposal before the House can even look at it.

He says he thinks lawmakers may take the issue up in the fall veto session.

We'll have reaction from some of the local districts that would be the biggest winners - and biggest losers - under the proposed formula changes and we'll talk what that could mean for our local students when you join us Tuesday night for your news at 10.

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