Educating Illinois: A Look at the Evidence-Based Funding Formula
Release: March 8, 2023
After six years of implementation, five of which included new year-over-year funding, Illinois’ school funding formula – the Evidence Based Funding for Student Success Act, or EBF – has worked towards its promise of closing Illinois’ drastic funding and achievement gaps between schools in property-rich and property-poor districts, as well as between schools in predominantly white communities and schools that serve predominantly students of color. The EBF accomplishes this by distributing new K-12 funding to those districts that are furthest away from having the resources to fund their respective “Adequacy Targets” – which is the amount the research indicates is required to provide the level of education the students they serve need to succeed academically.
The EBF replaced an old formula that was based on a one-size-fits-all “Foundation Level” of per-pupil funding that was both inadequate in amount and inequitable in distribution. Indeed, the state’s historic investment in K-12 has been so inadequate that local property tax revenue became the primary method of funding education. But after six years of the EBF, the formula has proven that it is working as intended to counter historic inequities by investing more at the state level each year, closing Adequacy Funding Gaps for students in every region of the state and of every race and ethnicity.
The Impact of Underfunding the Evidence-Based Funding Formula
Release: June 24, 2020
Beginning in 2017, Illinois decision makers replaced one of the least-equitable K-12 public education funding formulas in the country with the Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act, or EBF. The EBF commits to implementing best practice in school funding by investing a year-to-year increased Minimum Target Level of $300 million each fiscal year. Illinois met the Minimum Target Level for increased year-to-year state funding of K-12 education in each of the first three fiscal years—FY 2018, 2019, and 2020—during which the EBF was implemented. That streak now stands to be broken, however, as the FY 2021 General Fund Budget, which recently passed, does not increase K-12 funding under the EBF, but rather holds it level with FY 2020.
The Impact of Underfunding the Evidence-Based Funding Formula report analyzes the steps the EBF takes when the Minimum Target Level is not satisfied and how limited or no new Tier funding would impact districts by Tier, income level, race, and geography. The report also analyzes how state funding would be allocated if the state is unable to hold funding level with the prior fiscal year, resulting in a reduction in funding for the EBF.
ANALYSIS OF SB 1947 (Public Act 100-0465): The Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act
Release: October 10, 2017
On Thursday, August 31, 2017, the people of Illinois woke up in the state that had the worst—as in least equitable—K-12 public education funding formula in the country. That night they went to bed in the state that had the best. This historic transformation happened because that afternoon, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill (SB) 1947—which became Public Act (P.A.) 100-0465—into law. This breakthrough legislation incorporates the full “evidence-based model” (EBM) of school funding previously contained in SB 1.