State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) announced that The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is issuing vouchers today to the Illinois State Comptroller, paving the way for the new tier funding portion of fiscal year 2018 Evidence-Based Funding to flow to the State’s most under-resourced districts. ISBE issued the vouchers, concluding months of partnership with school districts and lawmakers to deliver accurate and on-time distributions.
“This funding was secured with the passage of bipartisan legislation that I co-sponsored in the House this General Assembly. This rework of an antiquated formula will fundamentally alter the way we fund our schools and, as a result, improve the lives of millions of schoolchildren throughout Illinois,” said Rep. Bourne. She added, “Downstate schools will benefit greatly from the new funding formula and will finally receive the resources they need for success.”
Representative Bourne explained that in past Illinois operated on a decades-old formula that perpetuated an education funding system that did not send state dollars to the school that needs it most first. Lawmakers came together this General Assembly to remedy the broken formula, reached a compromise, and on August 31, 2017, the Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act became law. Since the passage of that landmark legislation, the State Board of Education found fixes that needed to be made legislatively before the full model could be implemented. Bourne also co-sponsored that fix to the formula which now makes full implementation possible.
“Implementing a radically new funding formula required extraordinary effort by ISBE staff and school districts,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “I deeply appreciate Governor Rauner and the General Assembly’s commitment through the passage, cleanup, and distribution of this historic first year of Evidence-Based Funding.”
“The EBF numbers show staggering inequity,” Smith said. “We now have a common language to talk about the needs of our students and the situatedness of our schools within communities. We have a common understanding of what all of our children deserve.”
You can learn more about the Evidence-Based Funding formula at https://www.isbe.net/ebf2018.