A writer must “know and have an ever-present consciousness that this world is a world of fools and rogues… tormented with envy, consumed with vanity; selfish, false, cruel, cursed with illusions… He should free himself of all doctrines, theories, etiquettes, politics…” —Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?). “The nobility of the writer's occupation lies in resisting oppression, thus in accepting isolation” —Albert Camus (1913-1960). “What are you gonna do” —Bertha Brown (1895-1987).
The Current School Funding System is "a disservice to taxpayers, school districts and, most importantly, our children" --Illinois Senator Andy Manar
“Every child deserves the opportunity to learn.
Every taxpayer deserves to know his or her tax dollars are being used
effectively. The current school funding system cheats both children and
quotation is from an op-ed written by
former Congressman and Southern Illinois University President Dr. Glenn
Poshard. It accurately defines the problems with our current school funding
system. It’s outdated, it’s complicated and it’s doing a disservice to
taxpayers, school districts and, most importantly, our children. And for those
reasons, we need to take action now to reform Illinois’ school funding system.
April 2, I joined my colleagues in introducing the School Funding Reform
Act of 2014, a proposal to streamline the current hodgepodge of
funding sources into one funding formula that will account for school
districts’ needs. The proposal reflects a report issued from the bipartisan
Education Funding Advisory Committee that was created last year to study the
way schools are funded – or, more accurately, underfunded – and make
recommendations for fixing the system.
The current funding formula, unchanged
since 1997, only distributes 44 cents for every $1 invested in education on the
basis of district need. The other 56 cents goes to schools through
archaic and complicated grants, not based on need.
proposed funding system, 92 cents of every $1 invested by the State in the K-12
education system, with the exception of funds for early childhood education,
construction projects and high-cost special education, would flow through a
single funding formula that accounts for a local district’s “ability to
pay.” A single formula provides a simple, straight-forward and equitable
means to distribute education funds.
introduced the proposal, I acknowledged that it was a dramatic departure from
the status quo, and because of that, we wanted people to critique the bill. So
I decided to seek-out criticism.
two-week break, I traveled to Chicago, the suburbs, Northern Illinois, Southern
Illinois and even the small town of Niantic to meet with educators, parents and
other lawmakers to gather input. The feedback was positive and many of the
suggestions offered will lead to improvements to the proposal.
As I have
said many times, reforming how we fund public education in Illinois won’t be easy as we can
always find an excuse not to act. But the momentum for change is building, and
the support for our efforts has been widespread.
Dr. Poshard in urging everyone to set aside partisan or regional differences
and embrace this historic opportunity to build a better future for our
find more updates about the proposal on my website.