Released March 8, 2023
After six years of implementation, five of which included new year-over-year funding, Illinois’ school funding formula – the Evidence Based Funding for Student Success Act, or EBF – has worked towards its promise of closing Illinois’ drastic funding and achievement gaps 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. The EBF accomplishes this by distributing new K-12 funding to those districts that are furthest away from having the resources to fund 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 an old 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. Indeed, the state’s historic investment in K-12 has been so inadequate that local property tax revenue became the primary method of funding education. But after six years of the EBF, the formula has proven that it is working as intended to counter historic inequities by investing more at the state level each year, closing Adequacy Funding Gaps for students in every region of the state and of every race and ethnicity.
Released October 1, 2022
Volume VI of the Fully Funding the EBF series continues CTBA’s modeling of fully funding the EBF to 90% of Adequacy, which aligns more closely with the Illinois State Board of Education’s methodology. Volume VI uses the Enacted Fiscal Year 2023 General Fund Budget appropriations for the Evidence-Based Funding formula found in Volume V, but applies the ISBE EBF calculated shortfall for FY 2023 (released in August 2022), rather than a projected shortfall as provided in Volume V. The new release maintains the four scenarios found in the Fully Funding the EBF series Volume V.
Released June 20, 2022
Volume V of the Fully Funding the EBF series keeps adjustments to CTBA’s model to align more closely with the Illinois State Board of Education’s methodology and reporting but based on the Enacted Fiscal Year 2023 General Fund Budget appropriations for the Evidence-Based Funding formula. This change is made to the overall Adequacy Gap funding level (changes from 100% to 90% to accommodate for Federal funding). This change in methodology is applied in the same manner as it was for the four scenarios found in the Fully Funding the EBF series Volume V.
Released September 23, 2021
Contrary to what the governor proposed in the FY 2022 General Fund budget proposal, K-12 funding under the Evidence-Based Funding formula (EBF) resumed funding of the $300 million Minimum Funding Level in the FY 2022 Enacted General Fund Budget, as it had in FYs 2018,2019, and 2020. This is certainly better than being held level with the prior fiscal year, as was done in FY 2021.
Volume IV of the Fully Funding the EBF series makes some minor adjustments to CTBA’s model to align more closely with the Illinois State Board of Education’s methodology and reporting. This change is made to the overall Adequacy Gap funding level (changes from 100% to 90% to accommodate for Federal funding). This change in methodology is applied to the four scenarios found in the Fully Funding the EBF series Volume Three.
Released March 16, 2021
In the FY 2022 General Fund budget proposal the Governor announced in February, K-12 funding under the Evidence-Based Funding formula (EBF) is once again held level with FY 2020, in nominal, non-inflation adjusted dollars. While that is certainly better than being cut from FY 2020 levels in nominal dollars, it represents a step backward. By not providing additional new funding for the EBF, the state is extending the time it would take to fully fund the EBF by two years – if the state continues to put in a minimum of $300 million yearly beginning in FY 2023. That two year extension would mean extending the timeline to more than four times longer than what is required by statute.
This update is the third installment in the Fully Funding the EBF Series.
Released August 4, 2020
Fully Funding the Evidence-Based Formula: 2020 Update” is an update to the “Fully Funding the Evidence-Based Formula: Four Scenarios” report from 2019. The updated 2020 report highlights three different funding scenarios, identifying for each scenario how long, and how much money would be required to fund an adequate and equitable education as identified by the Evidence-Based Funding Formula.
Released 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.
Released 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 Funding, highlights some of those consequences that a property tax freeze could have, not only on school funding, but along racial lines, as well.
Released 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.
Moving Forward: Illinois' Evidence Based School Funding Formula Can Reverse Decades of Inequity Created by the Foundation Formula It Replaced
Released 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