PreK-12 Education

The Impact of Underfunding the Evidence-Based Funding Formula

Release: June 24, 2020

Beginning in 2017, Illinois decision makers replaced one of the least-equitable K-12 public education funding formulas in the country with the Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act, or EBF. The EBF commits to implementing best practice in school funding by investing a year-to-year increased Minimum Target Level of $300 million each fiscal year.  Illinois met the Minimum Target Level for increased year-to-year state funding of K-12 education in each of the first three fiscal years—FY 2018, 2019, and 2020—during which the EBF was implemented. That streak now stands to be broken, however, as the FY 2021 General Fund Budget, which recently passed, does not increase K-12 funding under the EBF, but rather holds it level with FY 2020.

The Impact of Underfunding the Evidence-Based Funding Formula report analyzes the steps the EBF takes when the Minimum Target Level is not satisfied and how limited or no new Tier funding would impact districts by Tier, income level, race, and geography. The report also analyzes how state funding would be allocated if the state is unable to hold funding level with the prior fiscal year, resulting in a reduction in funding for the EBF.

Potential Impact of a Property Tax Freeze on School Funding

Release: May 13, 2020

Illinois’ overreliance on property taxes is a result of historic shift of funding K-12 Education from the state-level to the local-level.  While many would benefit from a temporary property tax freeze, there are also costs associated with a property tax freeze—particularly when it comes to funding an adequate education for millions of Illinois school children. A property tax freeze could pose substantial costs to students across the state by limiting the amount of funding districts could receive compared to the current law in which there is no property tax freeze. Using 2019 Illinois Report Card and average year-to-year growth in: (i) K-12 funding under the EBF; (ii) property tax revenue; and (iii) funding of mandated categoricals, the short report, Potential Impact of a Property Tax Freeze on School Fundinghighlights some of those consequences that a property tax freeze could have, not only on school funding, but along racial lines, as well.

Fully Funding the Evidence-Based Formula: Four Scenarios

Release: March 27, 2019

On August 31, 2017, Illinois decision makers finally jettisoned one of the least-equitable K-12 public education funding formulas in the country and replaced it with the Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act, or EBF. The EBF represents the best practice in school funding because it ties the dollar amount taxpayers invest in schools to those educational practices which research shows actually enhance student achievement over time.  David G. Sciarra, Education Law Center, Is School Funding Fair?

Moving Forward: Illinois' Evidence Based School Funding Formula Can Reverse Decades of Inequity Created by the Foundation Formula It Replaced

Release: October 10, 2018

After just one year of implementation, Illinois’ new school funding formula – the Evidence Based Funding for Student Success Act, or EBF – holds out the promise of closing Illinois’ drastic funding and achievement gaps both between schools in property-rich and property-poor districts, as well as between schools in predominantly white communities and schools that serve predominantly students of color.

Three Problems With Gov. Rauner’s FY2019 Pension And Retirement Proposals

Release: February 16, 2018

This week, Gov. Bruce Rauner gave his fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget address, revealing his revenue and expenditure proposals for the upcoming year. The governor’s proposal relies on $1.5 billion in cost reductions to balance the budget, including:

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