The Potential Harm to Downstate Schools If the Governor Vetoes SB1
June 20, 2017
The Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act, or Senate Bill (SB) 1, was approved by the Illinois General Assembly on June 11, 2017. SB1 would significantly reform the how Illinois funds public schools by replacing an outdated, one-size-fits-all formula by calculating a unique adequacy level for each school district in the state, based on evidence-based best practices and demographics. New education dollars would then be prioritized to districts with the greatest gap between "adequacy" and actual funding levels. The bill promises to make Illinois education funding fairer, and give all students a better shot at success.
If Governor Bruce Rauner vetoes SB1, as he has threatened to do, he will be harming Illinois public school students—but downstate students will be hit disproportionately hard. That's because downstate districts have a larger per-pupil adequacy gap than the statewide average: while making up 34 percent of statewide enrollment, downstate districts have 40 percent of the statewide adequacy gap. As a result, they stand to lose more additional funding if Governor Rauner vetoes SB1.