Chicago Public Schools would receive $463 million less in funding this next school year under under Gov. Bruce Rauner’s funding plan than the measure approved by the Democrat-controlled Illinois General Assembly.
That’s according to an analysis released Saturday afternoon by the Illinois State Board of Education. The district-by-district breakdown was made public a day before the Illinois Senate will reconvene in Springfield to consider an override of Rauner’s amendatory veto of the school funding legislation.
The Rauner administration, however, stressed that nearly all of the state’s 852 school districts would receive more funding under the governor’s plan than under Senate Bill 1.
Saturday’s analysis concludes that each school district would get more in “base minimum funding” than they did this past year under the current school funding formula. But 20 districts, including CPS, would get less funding than they would receive with the Senate bill.
Rauner spokeswoman Laurel Patrick noted in an email that CPS would receive $221 million in a separate pension appropriation that isn’t accounted for in the school funding formula measure, “so the CPS net loss would not be $463 million.”
“This is what equity and fairness in education funding looks like,” Rauner said in a press release. “I made these changes to Senate Bill 1 because that legislation fails to ensure fairness and equity for all children across Illinois. My changes guarantee that some of our state’s neediest districts will receive significantly more funding.”
CPS criticized the governor, saying in an statement that “no person of good conscience, not legislators or the constituents support treating children this way.”
“No one should be fooled by these numbers, and it’s no wonder Gov. Rauner hid them for so long — there will be huge damage to districts across Illinois in the next several years,” the state’s largest school district said in its statement. “CPS educates one-third of the state’s low-income children. As we have seen from superintendents, teachers and parents from across the state, nobody other than the governor supports punishing low-income students like this.”
Release of the highly anticipated analysis of the amendatory veto was delayed earlier this week on — with the state Board of Education contending that the Illinois Department of Revenue reported a “significant error” regarding tax-increment-financing data.
TIF districts were created to promote economic development in blighted areas with any growth in property taxes going to specific purposes, such as infrastructure, public improvements and developer subsidies — but not education.
In both the original measure passed by lawmakers and the governor’s amendatory veto, the value of property in the district would play a role in how much money school districts get.
The Senate measure offers up a credit to school districts that have access to TIFs (Chicago has 145) — it’s used as part of the formula. But the amendatory veto wipes that out.
Critics of the veto contend TIF districts would look wealthier than they actually are. A hold harmless provision would ensure districts don’t lose any money than they already get, but it could mean they’re in line to get less money from an increase in school funding.
Illinois’ current funding formula has created the nation’s widest gap between low- and high-income districts because schools must rely on local property taxes to cover more than 60 percent of their costs.
After years of trying to change the funding formula, approval of Senate Bill 1 was a highlight of an otherwise largely futile legislation session. But lawmakers and the governor have not been able to come to agreement on the issue over the summer, leading school districts across the state to miss receiving a general state aid payment on Aug. 10.
CPS, the state’s largest district, is proposing a $5.79 billion budget for the school year that begins Sept. 5. Hearings for the public to weigh in on CPS’ proposed budget are set for later this month.
Contributing: Tina Sfondeles