Barickman Promises New School Funding Formula

Feb 13, 2015

Sen. Jason Barickman discusses his school funding proposal as Sen. Andy Manar (right) looks on.
Credit Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois file photo

Another effort for overhauling school funding is taking shape in the Illinois legislature. 

Jason Barickman, a Republican senator from Bloomington, says he’s going to introduce three pieces of legislation to tackle the state’s infamous education funding inequity. He describes the first piece as an “evidence-based model," which he believes will be supported by Governor Bruce Rauner.

“Think about something else he said yesterday, in the context of  his criminal justice reforms. In announcing those reforms, the governor embraced an evidence-based model, and that’s what this is,” Barickman said.

When asked how much his plan will cost, he described it as a formula, with no price tag yet determined, but promised no district will lose money.

“The legislation will have a very specific hold-harmless in it," he said, "that will hold districts harmless from the losses that have aggravated many through this dialog.” 

Barickman was referring to critics arguments against another school funding proposal. That plan -- sponsored by Sen. Andy Manar, a Democrat from Macoupin County -- would move funds from wealthier districts to schools with higher levels of poverty. 

Barickman said this is the first of three initiatives he will introduce. Another will lower the cost of providing education, and the third will ensure accountability.