education funding

Peter Medlin

A new report from the Illinois State Board of Education highlights how many children are developmentally ready for Kindergarten upon entering.

Results of Illinois’ Kindergarten Individual Development Survey or “KIDS” show only 26% of children met readiness standards in all of the measured areas. Thirty-nine percent met standards in none of the categories.

Farm fields abound around Indian Creek High School. But step into a classroom, and you're a far cry from the rural stereotype.
 

The kids are looking down at laptops, glancing back up to check the flat-screen monitors mounted to the walls displaying the Quizlet program they're using to study.

The only thing that isn't updated is the bell. "It's actually a real bell," jokes Principal Sarah Montgomery. "It's not digital."
 

It’s been a rough couple of years for Illinois community colleges, from the slashed funds of the budget impasse to concerning enrollment declines. This is the final installment of a three-part series on how these very different schools have stayed afloat by embracing change and, more importantly, putting the "community" in community college.

 

The Kishwaukee table tennis club's practice is in full swing. They're preparing for a tournament coming up soon.

 

Susan Stephens

The Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees has signed on to a bill that would guarantee stable funding for the school while imposing several performance standards.

Flickr user / alamosbasement "old school" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois school districts in the East Saint Louis area are raising student fees and even considering a shorter school year as state education funding continues to be held up by the long-running Illinois budget crisis.

More than 400 Illinois school leaders statewide are calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state legislature to pass a budget -- in addition to a lawsuit asking the state to give schools what they were promised.

Chase Cavanaugh/WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner spoke in Rockford to tout a new school funding framework. 

The governor paid a visit to the Barbour Two-Way Immersion School, which provides instruction in both English and Spanish. After touring several classrooms, Rauner said he would double down on funding schools more equally.

“We are going to change the way schools are funded in Illinois, improve it, get more resources overall, and especially more resources for lower-income schools that don’t have access to the same advantages as higher-income schools," he said.

Last summer, Governor Bruce Rauner asked 20 lawmakers and a handful of educators to change how Illinois funds public schools. That bipartisan commission produced a “framework,” but no actual legislation.

 

That is despite the group’s continual focus on a plan favored by Rauner.

 

"Money" By Flickr User Pictures of Money / (CC BY 2.0)

The state’s ongoing budget impasse has hit community colleges particularly hard, with funds to these schools and the students who attend them drastically reduced.

 

The Illinois Community College Board is distributing $3 million dollars in emergency aid, divided among seven campuses.

 

Despite a standstill over the Illinois budget, a group of bipartisan lawmakers has been meeting more often in recent weeks to devise a plan to overhaul state funding for public schools.

Although Illinois' top leaders aren't meeting to discuss the state budget, members of Gov. Bruce Rauner's education funding reform commission tell the Springfield Bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers they're optimistic that the group will be able to come up with at least outlines of a new school funding formula.

WUIS

  Illinois' leaders are divided over school funding, even as superintendents worry it will get caught in the political stalemate.

Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to increase how much Illinois sends schools overall, by $120 million.

Even then, some districts -- including the financially beleaguered Chicago Public Schools -- would see their state funding drop. Senate President John Cullerton nixed that as a viable option Monday.

College of DuPage

College campuses (and the politics behind them) are taking center stage in Springfield's festering stalemate.

Budget gridlock has kept money from going to higher education since July. Then, in a matter of hours on Thursday, Democratic lawmakers approved a plan that would pump $720 million dollars into the system. 

Republicans are calling it a "cruel hoax" that's giving students false hope, even though they, too, say they want to help higher ed. It's a scenario that demonstrates the partisan tensions -- and politics -- at play.

Chicago State University won’t have funds to operate by March 1 if  state money is not released, officials there have said.

Rauner Criticizes School Admin Costs

Jan 30, 2015
twitter.com/BruceRauner

Gov. Bruce Rauner is criticizing the number of school districts and administrators in the K-through-12 system as too costly.

Rauner is calling for what he calls "education bureaucracy" to be pared down, citing the more than 850 school districts and 13,000 administrators in the state. 

The governor said this week in Champaign that not enough of the state's tax dollars actually make it to the classroom.

Two key points in Rauner's gubernatorial campaign were letting the state's temporary income tax hike expire and promising to increase funding for schools.

facebook.com/GovernorQuinn & facebook.com/BruceRauner

Both major party candidates for governor say Illinois should put more money into education. But neither is ready to embrace a controversial plan that would change how state money is distributed to schools.

A proposal passed by the state senate is meant to even out how much money schools have to operate. Schools where poverty is high and property values are low would get more state funding by cutting money for wealthier districts.

Supporters say the change is fair. Gov. Pat Quinn isn't on board.

Lawmaker Pushes For Changes To Education Funding

Apr 3, 2014
ilga.gov

Illinois lawmakers are beginning to debate how much money the state will put toward education.  First, though, a group of legislators say Illinois needs to fix how it parcels out that money to individual districts.

Senator Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, says Illinois has a problem with the "how." He says the state uses an outdated formula to determine what portion of Illinois' education budget each school gets.