Citing progress, Madigan cancels House session on education funding

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Citing progress in the ongoing school funding negotiations, House Speaker Michael Madigan Tuesday night canceled Wednesday’s scheduled session of the Illinois House in hopes legislative leaders can wrap up negotiations on a new state school aid formula later this week.

The House was supposed to meet to consider overriding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, a funding reform bill Rauner said was too generous to Chicago schools. He made dozens of changes to the bill that not only affect Chicago but also many downstate school districts.

The Senate has already voted to override Rauner’s changes. In the House, the override would have needed Republican votes, and so far, no Republican has indicated a willingness to vote against the governor on school funding.

A number of lawmakers believe the solution will be through a negotiated compromise. To that end, the four legislative leaders met all afternoon Tuesday in Madigan’s Capitol office.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs and Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady of Bloomington emerged from the meeting early Tuesday evening saying progress was made and that further negotiations would be held soon. They did not say specifically when that would happen, nor would they discuss details of the talks.

Durkin said it would be up to Madigan to decide whether to go ahead with an override vote in the House Wednesday. Brady, however, said it would be a gesture of good faith on Madigan’s part to delay the vote.

Later Tuesday evening, Madigan did just that.

“In light of the progress made today by the four leaders, I am canceling session previously scheduled for Wednesday, August 23,” Madigan said in a statement. “During our talks today, Leader Durkin noted he was unavailable for any meetings tomorrow in order to wrap up negotiations. In light of that, we have decided to meet on Thursday in Chicago. I am hopeful we can finish our negotiations shortly to ensure schools around the state can receive the money needed to operate schools throughout this school year.

“If we don’t reach compromise later this week, the House will move to override the governor’s veto of SB 1 in session next week.”

Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, one of the principal authors of SB 1, said he was pleased negotiations “appear to be promising.”

“(Negotiations) should continue,” he said in a statement. “But it bears repeating that the uncertainty over school funding needs to end — next week at the latest.”

Until lawmakers adopt a new school aid formula, billions of dollars in state aid for K-12 education in the new budget won’t be distributed until a new formula is in place.

— Contact Doug Finke: doug.finke@sj-r.com, 788-1527, http://twitter.com/dougfinkesjr.

Citing progress, Madigan cancels House session on education funding

Citing progress, Madigan cancels House session on education funding

http://ift.tt/2g3R3rb

Citing progress in the ongoing school funding negotiations, House Speaker Michael Madigan Tuesday night canceled Wednesday’s scheduled session of the Illinois House in hopes legislative leaders can wrap up negotiations on a new state school aid formula later this week.

The House was supposed to meet to consider overriding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, a funding reform bill Rauner said was too generous to Chicago schools. He made dozens of changes to the bill that not only affect Chicago but also many downstate school districts.

The Senate has already voted to override Rauner’s changes. In the House, the override would have needed Republican votes, and so far, no Republican has indicated a willingness to vote against the governor on school funding.

A number of lawmakers believe the solution will be through a negotiated compromise. To that end, the four legislative leaders met all afternoon Tuesday in Madigan’s Capitol office.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs and Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady of Bloomington emerged from the meeting early Tuesday evening saying progress was made and that further negotiations would be held soon. They did not say specifically when that would happen, nor would they discuss details of the talks.

Durkin said it would be up to Madigan to decide whether to go ahead with an override vote in the House Wednesday. Brady, however, said it would be a gesture of good faith on Madigan’s part to delay the vote.

Later Tuesday evening, Madigan did just that.

“In light of the progress made today by the four leaders, I am canceling session previously scheduled for Wednesday, August 23,” Madigan said in a statement. “During our talks today, Leader Durkin noted he was unavailable for any meetings tomorrow in order to wrap up negotiations. In light of that, we have decided to meet on Thursday in Chicago. I am hopeful we can finish our negotiations shortly to ensure schools around the state can receive the money needed to operate schools throughout this school year.

“If we don’t reach compromise later this week, the House will move to override the governor’s veto of SB 1 in session next week.”

Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, one of the principal authors of SB 1, said he was pleased negotiations “appear to be promising.”

“(Negotiations) should continue,” he said in a statement. “But it bears repeating that the uncertainty over school funding needs to end — next week at the latest.”

Until lawmakers adopt a new school aid formula, billions of dollars in state aid for K-12 education in the new budget won’t be distributed until a new formula is in place.

— Contact Doug Finke: doug.finke@sj-r.com, 788-1527, http://twitter.com/dougfinkesjr.

Citing progress, Madigan cancels House session on education funding

Ralph Martire: Senate Bill 1 would create an equitable funding system

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Illinois’ school funding system consistently ranks as one of the most inequitable and least adequate in America. In virtually every national study on the subject, Illinois gets a failing grade. Condemnation of Illinois’ education funding system is so pervasive that for the past three decades, prominent Democrats and Republicans have repeatedly pushed to reform it — all to no avail.

That is, until Senate Bill 1 — the “Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act” — passed the General Assembly on May 31, 2017. SB 1 ties education funding to those evidence-based practices the research shows enhance academic performance. In other words, it invests taxpayer money into funding what actually helps students achieve. SB1 accomplishes this by identifying a funding target that’s unique for each school district — called its “Adequacy Target” — sufficient to cover the cost of implementing the aforesaid evidence-based practices, to the level required to meet the demographically driven needs of the students attending that district. The greater the student need, the greater the Adequacy Target.

Today, K-12 funding in Illinois is over $6 billion less statewide than what the evidence indicates is needed. Recognizing the fiscal challenges facing state government, SB 1 phases in the new state funding required to reach adequacy over a 10-year period, which has the side benefit of allowing school districts to plan strategically for how best to apply enhanced funding to meet student needs. To counter the inequity of Illinois’ current education funding system, the significant majority of increased state funding under SB 1 goes first to those districts that are furthest from their Adequacy Targets. Hence by design, SB 1 creates a school funding system that is adequate in amount, equitable in distribution, and even comports with every major recommendation made by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Commission on School Funding.

Nonetheless, the governor refused to sign SB 1 into law. Instead, he issued an amendatory veto of the bill, which he claimed created a “fairer funding system.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Far from creating a fairer system, the amendatory veto modifies SB 1 in a manner that makes it impossible for most school districts to ever reach their “Adequacy Target” of funding — which remember, is based on what the evidence indicates they need to educate the children they serve. Here’s why.

For starters, the amendatory veto eliminates the adjustment for inflation contained in SB 1, effectively freezing all education costs (salaries, supplies, etc.) at 2017 levels. Which makes no sense, given the 10-year legislative time frame for funding adequacy. Under the amendatory veto, the “Adequacy” funding districts receive in 2027 will be based on 2017 costs. Obviously, that won’t come close to covering actual classroom expenses because in the real world, inflation drives costs up over a decade.

But wait, there’s more. Under SB 1, a school district’s local funding contribution is adjusted to account for both the Property Tax Limitation Law, which caps how much districts can levy, and local property wealth a school can’t access because it’s contained in a Tax Increment Finance district. This simply recognizes districts can’t spend money on education they can’t raise. The amendatory veto, however, eliminates the adjustments for both PTELL and TIF contained in SB 1. This artificially inflates local resources available to over 536 school districts statewide, by pretending they have resources they legally cannot access. The amendatory veto then reduces the new state funding that will go to these districts — below what the evidence indicates they need — because it assumes they have money they can’t get. Yeah, that sounds fair.

The bottom line: The amendatory veto is fatally flawed. It creates an education funding system that will be inadequate in amount, inequitable in distribution, and not actually tied to the evidence of what works — which happen to be the same flaws that exist under Illinois’ current formula.

SB 1 on the other hand would actually create an equitable funding system that identifies the real investment needed to educate all children to succeed academically.

— Ralph Martire is executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, a bipartisan fiscal policy think tank. He can be reached at rmartire@ctbaonline.org.

Ralph Martire: Senate Bill 1 would create an equitable funding system

Ted Dabrowski: Amendatory veto of SB 1 the better option for more school districts

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The governor’s Aug. 1 revisions to the state’s education funding bill contained some good news for cash-strapped residents in Springfield and other downstate communities: A plan to end annual Chicago Public Schools bailouts.

But if the Illinois House of Representatives overrides Gov. Bruce Rauner’s changes to the bill, suburban and downstate districts will be forced to forego hundreds of millions of dollars that will instead subsidize CPS.

Rauner made the funding plan fairer by using his amendatory veto power to address several parts of Senate Bill 1. Under the revised funding plan, an analysis by the Illinois State Board of Education shows nearly 98 percent of Illinois school districts receive more money than they would have under SB 1. The governor made this possible by removing subsidies that heavily or exclusively favor CPS at the expense of other districts.

Over the past decade and a half, the state has given CPS billions in extra state funding — money that should have been distributed evenly statewide. Yet due to its own mismanagement, CPS is junk-rated, its finances are in disarray, and its pensions are eroding.

The governor’s changes make education funding fairer by eliminating:

* An annual $200 million “block grant” carved out especially for CPS years ago.

* Special treatment of CPS in the new formula — tied to CPS’ pension debt — that no other district received.

* Special subsidies for districts in property tax-capped jurisdictions using the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, or PTELL, and in economic development zones called tax increment financing, or TIF, districts. Those subsidies have disproportionately benefited CPS over the years.

Districts like Springfield School District 186 should never have been forced to bail out CPS in the first place.

Springfield spending per student has stagnated the last five years. Meanwhile, CPS’ per-student spending grew nearly $1,800. And Chicago Public Schools teachers are the highest paid in the nation among the nation’s largest school districts.

CPS has benefited disproportionately from subsidies for school districts located in property tax-capped areas or in special economic zones. These districts are allowed to under-report their property wealth to make up for the property they can’t tax. The poorer a district looks, the more state aid it gets.

But communities that choose to use property taxes to create development zones instead of supporting education shouldn’t get additional state aid at the expense of other taxpayers. And communities that want to keep their property taxes capped shouldn’t get subsidies that force districts without tax caps to foot the bill.

This year alone, CPS will be eligible to hide from its state aid request $6.6 billion in property wealth tied up in economic development zones. That will make CPS look poorer than it is and result in the district receiving more state funding.

In addition, the district received an extra $40 million last year due to property tax cap subsidies. In total, CPS has collected nearly $2.5 billion in subsidies since 2009. By comparison, all other districts in the state combined received a total of $1.6 billion.

That’s fundamentally unfair to school districts that don’t receive any such subsidies. The subsidies drain money from the state’s funding for education, leaving those districts with less.

Rauner’s amendatory veto creates a more level playing field for all Illinois districts by changing how new state dollars for education will be distributed. Under the veto, no district will get less funding next year than it received from the state in 2017. And by eliminating unfair subsidies, almost every district will receive more state aid in 2018.

All school districts in the Springfield area benefit from the governor’s changes. This year, the eight districts in and around Springfield will collectively receive $2.7 million more in funding under the governor’s veto compared with what they would get under SB 1, the ISBE analysis showed.

 And with the hundreds of millions in new money promised in 2018, Illinois’ neediest districts — such as Rockford, Waukegan, Cicero and others — also come out ahead under the governor’s veto.

— Ted Dabrowski is vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute.

Ted Dabrowski: Amendatory veto of SB 1 the better option for more school districts

Ted Dabrowski: Amendatory veto of SB 1 the better option for more school districts

http://ift.tt/2v4pt3A

The governor’s Aug. 1 revisions to the state’s education funding bill contained some good news for cash-strapped residents in Springfield and other downstate communities: A plan to end annual Chicago Public Schools bailouts.

But if the Illinois House of Representatives overrides Gov. Bruce Rauner’s changes to the bill, suburban and downstate districts will be forced to forego hundreds of millions of dollars that will instead subsidize CPS.

Rauner made the funding plan fairer by using his amendatory veto power to address several parts of Senate Bill 1. Under the revised funding plan, an analysis by the Illinois State Board of Education shows nearly 98 percent of Illinois school districts receive more money than they would have under SB 1. The governor made this possible by removing subsidies that heavily or exclusively favor CPS at the expense of other districts.

Over the past decade and a half, the state has given CPS billions in extra state funding — money that should have been distributed evenly statewide. Yet due to its own mismanagement, CPS is junk-rated, its finances are in disarray, and its pensions are eroding.

The governor’s changes make education funding fairer by eliminating:

* An annual $200 million “block grant” carved out especially for CPS years ago.

* Special treatment of CPS in the new formula — tied to CPS’ pension debt — that no other district received.

* Special subsidies for districts in property tax-capped jurisdictions using the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, or PTELL, and in economic development zones called tax increment financing, or TIF, districts. Those subsidies have disproportionately benefited CPS over the years.

Districts like Springfield School District 186 should never have been forced to bail out CPS in the first place.

Springfield spending per student has stagnated the last five years. Meanwhile, CPS’ per-student spending grew nearly $1,800. And Chicago Public Schools teachers are the highest paid in the nation among the nation’s largest school districts.

CPS has benefited disproportionately from subsidies for school districts located in property tax-capped areas or in special economic zones. These districts are allowed to under-report their property wealth to make up for the property they can’t tax. The poorer a district looks, the more state aid it gets.

But communities that choose to use property taxes to create development zones instead of supporting education shouldn’t get additional state aid at the expense of other taxpayers. And communities that want to keep their property taxes capped shouldn’t get subsidies that force districts without tax caps to foot the bill.

This year alone, CPS will be eligible to hide from its state aid request $6.6 billion in property wealth tied up in economic development zones. That will make CPS look poorer than it is and result in the district receiving more state funding.

In addition, the district received an extra $40 million last year due to property tax cap subsidies. In total, CPS has collected nearly $2.5 billion in subsidies since 2009. By comparison, all other districts in the state combined received a total of $1.6 billion.

That’s fundamentally unfair to school districts that don’t receive any such subsidies. The subsidies drain money from the state’s funding for education, leaving those districts with less.

Rauner’s amendatory veto creates a more level playing field for all Illinois districts by changing how new state dollars for education will be distributed. Under the veto, no district will get less funding next year than it received from the state in 2017. And by eliminating unfair subsidies, almost every district will receive more state aid in 2018.

All school districts in the Springfield area benefit from the governor’s changes. This year, the eight districts in and around Springfield will collectively receive $2.7 million more in funding under the governor’s veto compared with what they would get under SB 1, the ISBE analysis showed.

 And with the hundreds of millions in new money promised in 2018, Illinois’ neediest districts — such as Rockford, Waukegan, Cicero and others — also come out ahead under the governor’s veto.

— Ted Dabrowski is vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute.

Ted Dabrowski: Amendatory veto of SB 1 the better option for more school districts

Ted Dabrowski: Amendatory veto of SB 1 the better option for more school districts

http://ift.tt/2v4pt3A

The governor’s Aug. 1 revisions to the state’s education funding bill contained some good news for cash-strapped residents in Springfield and other downstate communities: A plan to end annual Chicago Public Schools bailouts.

But if the Illinois House of Representatives overrides Gov. Bruce Rauner’s changes to the bill, suburban and downstate districts will be forced to forego hundreds of millions of dollars that will instead subsidize CPS.

Rauner made the funding plan fairer by using his amendatory veto power to address several parts of Senate Bill 1. Under the revised funding plan, an analysis by the Illinois State Board of Education shows nearly 98 percent of Illinois school districts receive more money than they would have under SB 1. The governor made this possible by removing subsidies that heavily or exclusively favor CPS at the expense of other districts.

Over the past decade and a half, the state has given CPS billions in extra state funding — money that should have been distributed evenly statewide. Yet due to its own mismanagement, CPS is junk-rated, its finances are in disarray, and its pensions are eroding.

The governor’s changes make education funding fairer by eliminating:

* An annual $200 million “block grant” carved out especially for CPS years ago.

* Special treatment of CPS in the new formula — tied to CPS’ pension debt — that no other district received.

* Special subsidies for districts in property tax-capped jurisdictions using the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, or PTELL, and in economic development zones called tax increment financing, or TIF, districts. Those subsidies have disproportionately benefited CPS over the years.

Districts like Springfield School District 186 should never have been forced to bail out CPS in the first place.

Springfield spending per student has stagnated the last five years. Meanwhile, CPS’ per-student spending grew nearly $1,800. And Chicago Public Schools teachers are the highest paid in the nation among the nation’s largest school districts.

CPS has benefited disproportionately from subsidies for school districts located in property tax-capped areas or in special economic zones. These districts are allowed to under-report their property wealth to make up for the property they can’t tax. The poorer a district looks, the more state aid it gets.

But communities that choose to use property taxes to create development zones instead of supporting education shouldn’t get additional state aid at the expense of other taxpayers. And communities that want to keep their property taxes capped shouldn’t get subsidies that force districts without tax caps to foot the bill.

This year alone, CPS will be eligible to hide from its state aid request $6.6 billion in property wealth tied up in economic development zones. That will make CPS look poorer than it is and result in the district receiving more state funding.

In addition, the district received an extra $40 million last year due to property tax cap subsidies. In total, CPS has collected nearly $2.5 billion in subsidies since 2009. By comparison, all other districts in the state combined received a total of $1.6 billion.

That’s fundamentally unfair to school districts that don’t receive any such subsidies. The subsidies drain money from the state’s funding for education, leaving those districts with less.

Rauner’s amendatory veto creates a more level playing field for all Illinois districts by changing how new state dollars for education will be distributed. Under the veto, no district will get less funding next year than it received from the state in 2017. And by eliminating unfair subsidies, almost every district will receive more state aid in 2018.

All school districts in the Springfield area benefit from the governor’s changes. This year, the eight districts in and around Springfield will collectively receive $2.7 million more in funding under the governor’s veto compared with what they would get under SB 1, the ISBE analysis showed.

 And with the hundreds of millions in new money promised in 2018, Illinois’ neediest districts — such as Rockford, Waukegan, Cicero and others — also come out ahead under the governor’s veto.

— Ted Dabrowski is vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute.

Ted Dabrowski: Amendatory veto of SB 1 the better option for more school districts

Ted Dabrowski: Amendatory veto of SB 1 the better option for more school districts

http://ift.tt/2v4pt3A

The governor’s Aug. 1 revisions to the state’s education funding bill contained some good news for cash-strapped residents in Springfield and other downstate communities: A plan to end annual Chicago Public Schools bailouts.

But if the Illinois House of Representatives overrides Gov. Bruce Rauner’s changes to the bill, suburban and downstate districts will be forced to forego hundreds of millions of dollars that will instead subsidize CPS.

Rauner made the funding plan fairer by using his amendatory veto power to address several parts of Senate Bill 1. Under the revised funding plan, an analysis by the Illinois State Board of Education shows nearly 98 percent of Illinois school districts receive more money than they would have under SB 1. The governor made this possible by removing subsidies that heavily or exclusively favor CPS at the expense of other districts.

Over the past decade and a half, the state has given CPS billions in extra state funding — money that should have been distributed evenly statewide. Yet due to its own mismanagement, CPS is junk-rated, its finances are in disarray, and its pensions are eroding.

The governor’s changes make education funding fairer by eliminating:

* An annual $200 million “block grant” carved out especially for CPS years ago.

* Special treatment of CPS in the new formula — tied to CPS’ pension debt — that no other district received.

* Special subsidies for districts in property tax-capped jurisdictions using the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, or PTELL, and in economic development zones called tax increment financing, or TIF, districts. Those subsidies have disproportionately benefited CPS over the years.

Districts like Springfield School District 186 should never have been forced to bail out CPS in the first place.

Springfield spending per student has stagnated the last five years. Meanwhile, CPS’ per-student spending grew nearly $1,800. And Chicago Public Schools teachers are the highest paid in the nation among the nation’s largest school districts.

CPS has benefited disproportionately from subsidies for school districts located in property tax-capped areas or in special economic zones. These districts are allowed to under-report their property wealth to make up for the property they can’t tax. The poorer a district looks, the more state aid it gets.

But communities that choose to use property taxes to create development zones instead of supporting education shouldn’t get additional state aid at the expense of other taxpayers. And communities that want to keep their property taxes capped shouldn’t get subsidies that force districts without tax caps to foot the bill.

This year alone, CPS will be eligible to hide from its state aid request $6.6 billion in property wealth tied up in economic development zones. That will make CPS look poorer than it is and result in the district receiving more state funding.

In addition, the district received an extra $40 million last year due to property tax cap subsidies. In total, CPS has collected nearly $2.5 billion in subsidies since 2009. By comparison, all other districts in the state combined received a total of $1.6 billion.

That’s fundamentally unfair to school districts that don’t receive any such subsidies. The subsidies drain money from the state’s funding for education, leaving those districts with less.

Rauner’s amendatory veto creates a more level playing field for all Illinois districts by changing how new state dollars for education will be distributed. Under the veto, no district will get less funding next year than it received from the state in 2017. And by eliminating unfair subsidies, almost every district will receive more state aid in 2018.

All school districts in the Springfield area benefit from the governor’s changes. This year, the eight districts in and around Springfield will collectively receive $2.7 million more in funding under the governor’s veto compared with what they would get under SB 1, the ISBE analysis showed.

 And with the hundreds of millions in new money promised in 2018, Illinois’ neediest districts — such as Rockford, Waukegan, Cicero and others — also come out ahead under the governor’s veto.

— Ted Dabrowski is vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute.

Ted Dabrowski: Amendatory veto of SB 1 the better option for more school districts