CPS Head, Legislator, Blast Governor’s School Funding Plan

April 12, 2016
Supporters of education funding rally in the rotunda at the Illinois State Capitol Tuesday, April 12, 2016, in Springfield, Il. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has released figures breaking down how much each Illinois school district would receive next ye

Supporters of education funding rally in the rotunda at the Illinois State Capitol Tuesday, April 12, 2016, in Springfield, Il. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has released figures breaking down how much each Illinois school district would receive next year under his education funding plan.

Seth Perlman/Associated Press

Lawmakers got a look at Gov. Bruce Rauner's school funding proposal Tuesday. As promised, the governor's education funding plan gives every district the full amount of state aid due under the current school funding formula. But that formula, which relies heavily on property taxes, has been called the most inequitable plan in the nation.

So despite the fact that Rauner’s proposal adds money to the pot, some of the neediest districts will lose funds, while some of the wealthiest will get more.  Needy districts like East Saint Louis, North Chicago and Cairo would lose money; wealthy suburban districts like New Trier, Kenilworth and Rondout gain money.

State Representative Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) says Rauner's plan is like Robin Hood in reverse.

"You've got a proposal where Chicago Public Schools is losing $75-million, where Harvey's losing money, where Taylorville's losing money, where Cahokia and East St Louis are losing money, but New Trier and Lake Forest are gaining money," he said.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool echoed those comments Tuesday.  He says the funding plans will disproportionately affect minority children.

Claypool says declining enrollment in Chicago is only a small factor. He pointed to drops in funding in other cities.
 
Under Rauner's proposal, total education funding will increase by $120 million in Illinois for the 2017 fiscal year. The State Board of Education says most districts will receive more money.

Democrats have proposed a complete overhaul of the state's school funding formula, but the governor has said there isn’t time for an overhaul right now.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio