Reports

Educating Illinois: Volume II

Release: February 29, 2024

After seven years of implementation, including six that included New Tier Funding, or new year-over-year funding, Illinois' funding formula for K-12 Education—the Evidence Based Funding for Student Success Act, or EBF—has worked towards its promise of closing the drastic funding gaps between school in property-rich and property-poor districts,  as well as between schools in predominantly white communities and schools that serve predominantly Black and Latinx students, putting the funding responsibility on the state to ensure equity for districts with less local resources. The EBF accomplishes this by distributing new K-12 funding to those districts that are furthest away from having adequate resources, and furthest away from hitting their respective "Adequacy Targets" --which is the amount the research indicates is required to provide the level of education the students they serve need to succeed academically.

The EBF replaced a formula that was based on a one-size fits all "Foundation Level" of per-pupil funding that was both inadequate in amount and inequitable in distribution. In fact, Illinois' disinvestment had been so inadequate that local property tax revenue became the primary method from which education was funded. Now, seven years later, the EBF has drastically changed public education funding allocation and has worked to close Adequacy Funding Gaps for students across all regions of the state and from all demographics by continuing to increase the state level investment each year.