Press release: Passage of HB2808 out of House committee is a victory for low-income students

CHICAGO (April 3, 2017) – The bipartisan passage of HB2808 out of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Appropriations Committee yesterday was a monumental victory for low-income children across Illinois. The Committee voted 15-1 to pass the bill, which would reform the state’s broken school funding formula, closing gaps with wealthier districts. The bill does not take money from any district and accounts for a district’s property wealth and local ability to pay for education.

HB2808 addresses the state’s ranking as worst-in-the-nation for funding equity. For every dollar spent on a non-low-income student in Illinois, 81 cents is spent on a low-income student. The bill now faces a full House vote in coming weeks before it moves forward. The House Education Task Force continues to analyze school funding issues, and the Senate is working on a similar bill. While much work remains, the members of the Fix the Formula Illinois campaign, which spans more than 200 school management groups, superintendents, educator groups and community- and faith-based organizations, remain optimistic.

“We’re rallying around a bipartisan solution in this session of the General Assembly,” said Ginger Ostro, Executive Director, Advance Illinois. “Legislators on both sides of the aisle understand this issue more than ever before and there is acknowledgement from nearly everyone that something needs to be done.”

“Our school districts can’t wait another year for change,” added Dr. Brent Clark, Executive Director, Illinois Association of School Administrators. “Inequitable and inadequate funding by the state has left schools without the resources they need to provide a high-quality education.”

HB2808 utilizes principles of the evidence-based funding model (EBM) to allocate resources. The EBM is based on the cost of 27 elements needed for a high-quality education and accounts for individual student needs while enabling local decision-making.

About Fix the Formula Illinois

Fix the Formula Illinois is a campaign of Advance Illinois, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Educators 4 Excellence, Equity First, Funding Illinois’ Future, High School District Organizations of Illinois, Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois Association of School Business Officials, Illinois Principals Association, League of United Latin American Citizens, Teach Plus Illinois and Vision 20/20.

Follow #fixtheformula on Twitter or visit www.fundingilfuture.org to receive updates about the campaign.