PreK-12 Education

Released May 14, 2024

Volume IX of the Fully Funding the EBF series continues CTBA’s modeling of fully funding the EBF to 90% of Adequacy. Volume IX uses the proposed Fiscal Year 2025 General Fund Budget appropriations for the Evidence-Based Funding formula, but uses a projected shortfall based on the ISBE EBF calculated shortfall for FY 2024 (released in August of 2023). The new release maintains the four scenarios, including the full funding model based on an increase of $500 million annually using Scenario 2: Funding the EBF on a Fully Inflation-Adjusted Basis, By Making a Nominal Minimum Target Level Increase Annually.

Released February 29, 2024

After seven years of implementation, including six that included New Tier Funding, or new year-over-year funding, Illinois' funding formula for K-12 Education—the Evidence Based Funding for Student Success Act, or EBF—has worked towards its promise of closing the drastic funding gaps between school in property-rich and property-poor districts,  as well as between schools in predominantly white communities and schools that serve predominantly Black and Latinx students, putting the funding responsibility on the state to ensure equity for districts with less local resources. The EBF accomplishes this by distributing new K-12 funding to those districts that are furthest away from having adequate resources, and furthest away from hitting 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 a 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. In fact, Illinois' disinvestment had been so inadequate that local property tax revenue became the primary method from which education was funded. Now, seven years later, the EBF has drastically changed public education funding allocation and has worked to close Adequacy Funding Gaps for students across all regions of the state and from all demographics by continuing to increase the state level investment each year.

Released October 9, 2023

Volume VIII of the Fully Funding the EBF series continues CTBA’s modeling of fully funding the EBF to 90% of Adequacy, which aligns with the Illinois State Board of Education’s methodology.

Released May 3, 2023

Volume VII of the Fully Funding the EBF series continues CTBA’s modeling of fully funding the EBF to 90% of Adequacy, which aligns more closely with the Illinois State Board of Education’s methodology.

Released 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.

Released 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.

Released May 13, 2020

Illinois’ overreliance on property taxes is a result of historic shift of funding K-12 Education from the state-level to the local-level.  While many would benefit from a temporary property tax freeze, there are also costs associated with a property tax freeze—particularly when it comes to funding an adequate education for millions of Illinois school children. A property tax freeze could pose substantial costs to students across the state by limiting the amount of funding districts could receive compared to the current law in which there is no property tax freeze. Using 2019 Illinois Report Card and average year-to-year growth in: (i) K-12 funding under the EBF; (ii) property tax revenue; and (iii) funding of mandated categoricals, the short report, Potential Impact of a Property Tax Freeze on School Fundinghighlights some of those consequences that a property tax freeze could have, not only on school funding, but along racial lines, as well.

Released March 27, 2019

On August 31, 2017, Illinois decision makers finally jettisoned one of the least-equitable K-12 public education funding formulas in the country and replaced it with the Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act, or EBF.

Released October 10, 2018

After just one year of implementation, Illinois’ new school funding formula – the Evidence Based Funding for Student Success Act, or EBF – holds out the promise of closing Illinois’ drastic funding and achievement gaps both between schools in property-rich and property-poor districts, as well as

Released February 16, 2018

This week, Gov. Bruce Rauner gave his fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget address, revealing his revenue and expenditure proposals for the upcoming year. The governor’s proposal relies on $1.5 billion in cost reductions to balance the budget, including:

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