ISBE Considers Changing The Way It Spreads The Pain

May 15, 2015

These days, it seems like every agency in Illinois is complaining about cutbacks. Public school officials, however, are seasoned veterans, having seen the state slash their funding repeatedly over the past few years. Now, they argue how the pain is distributed.

Traditionally, it's been each district losing the same percentage of their state aid. But that method disproportionately hurts districts with low property values and high concentrations of poor kids. Superintendents from 35 such districts traveled to Springfield this week to beg the Illinois State Board of Education to use a different method -- a flat per-pupil cut.

Board members appeared persuaded, but chairman James Meeks said he wanted to notify lawmakers and Governor Bruce Rauner before a vote. The board plans to make a final decision at its next meeting, in June.