Chicago Schools Sue Illinois Over 'Discriminatory' Funding

Feb 14, 2017

Chicago's schools are suing Illinois' governor and other state officials over how the state funds schools, claiming it violates the civil rights of the predominantly-minority student population in the nation's third-largest school district.

Tuesday's lawsuit was filed in Cook County on behalf of black and Hispanic families. It seeks to have a judge declare the formula unlawful.

Chicago Public Schools officials say Illinois has separate and unequal funding systems leaving Chicago schools with less money per student when compared with districts statewide, which are majority white. The lawsuit cites the Brown v. Board of Education civil rights case.

Similar lawsuits have been filed in most states. The Chicago Urban League filed one against Illinois. It is pending.

Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis released the following statement in response to Chicago Public School’s lawsuit:

“We have just received the lawsuit and are reviewing it. 

But it is important to remember that the bipartisan, bicameral school funding commission just issued its report, which recommends an equitable school funding formula that defines adequacy according to the needs of students within each school district.  

The Governor remains focused on moving forward these recommendations and hopes that CPS will be a partner in that endeavor.”


  • The Associated Press and Jessie Schlacks contributed to this report.