Rep. Bourne Chosen for ISBE’s Review Panel

State Representative Avery Bourne was recently named the newest member of ISBE’s (Illinois State Board of Education) Evidence-Based Funding Professional Review Panel. The panel was created with the new school funding formula to annually review data, proposed changes, and the overall implementation of the formula. It is made up of practitioners, experts, legislative leaders, and advocates.

Rep. Bourne stated, “It is an honor to be chosen for the ISBE Panel and I look forward to working with these professionals to make our school funding formula work. School children statewide now have a brighter future because of school funding reform. The work of this panel will make sure the school funding reform is dynamic and continues to provide the best outcomes for students statewide. After our important work to pass school funding reform, now the hard work of implementing it begins.”

The panel will meet on a periodic basis to study specific aspects of the formula. Additionally, they will recommend modifications in the future to continue improving school funding to meet the needs of all students in Illinois. All panel meetings will be open to the public and will include an opportunity for public comment. ISBE encourages members of the public to attend and participate. 

“School funding reform was a landmark advancement for fairness in Illinois,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The Professional Review Panel is a very important part of our continuing work to tune Evidence-Based Funding to meet the needs of children, families, and communities across the state. Bringing diverse voices to the table will help us identify necessary improvements. We encourage and value public participation to ensure the funding system serves all students.”

The panel will study topics including the format and scope of school districts’ annual spending plans; the “at-risk student” definition; funding for Regional Safe Schools, early childhood education, and other specific investments; and other aspects of the formula. The panel will make recommendations to the State Board, the General Assembly, and the Governor for continual recalibration of the landmark funding system.

The panel consists of 28 members appointed by State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Governor Bruce Rauner, and legislative leaders. Panel membership reflects the geographic, socio-economic, racial, and ethnic diversity of the state, including representatives with expertise in bilingual education and special education.