National report shows inequity in Illinois’ education funding system deeper than previously known: Report updates widely circulated data on educational inequity

CHICAGO (Feb. 27, 2018) – A new report shows that Illinois’ education funding system provides 78 cents to a low-income student for every dollar spent on a non-low-income student and remains the most regressive system in the nation. Funding Gaps 2018, released today by The Education Trust, is an update to a report that was widely circulated by Advance Illinois and other partners as part of the effort to fix Illinois’ school funding formula. The previous Funding Gaps report showed that Illinois spent 81 cents on a low-income student for every dollar spent on a non-low-income student.

“The Education Trust data has been instrumental in drawing attention to the inequity of Illinois’ funding system and galvanizing action toward a solution,” said Ginger Ostro, Executive Director of Advance Illinois. “Today’s report underscores why the school funding formula needed to be fixed.”

The report also features Advance Illinois and its campaign toward school funding reform, noting that the new formula went into effect for the 2017-2018 school year, after the education funding data reflected in this year’s analysis were collected. Data in the analysis is from 2013-2015.

“It will be a number of years before these reforms are evident in the school district financial data used in these analyses,” the report states.

Advance Illinois and Funding Illinois’ Future are calling for further investment in public education in this year’s state budget. School districts will not receive $350 million in new funding for this school year until April.

“This report shows how far we still need to go before we reach equity and adequacy for funding of public education in Illinois,” said Ed Fletcher, Superintendent, Monmouth-Roseville School District 238. “Our schools don’t have access to resources that are commonplace in wealthier districts such as access to instructional coaches, staff to provide interventions to struggling students, and ESL and bilingual teachers for our increasing population of English learners.”

Above: Gaps in state and local revenues per student between districts serving the most and the fewest students in poverty. In Illinois, the highest poverty districts receive 22 cents less in state and local funds per student than the highest poverty districts. Source: Funding Gaps 2018, The Education Trust


Contacts: Bob Dolgan,, 773-447-1980 cell
Anna Schneider,, 217-242-9645

About Advance Illinois

Founded in 2008, Advance Illinois believes all kids deserve a quality education. We are an independent policy and advocacy organization that works toward a healthy public education system that prepares students to achieve success in college, career and civic life. We are committed to an aligned education system that strives for equity, stresses college and career readiness and completion, and supports the whole child from the earliest years through adulthood. To learn more, visit, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.