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04/03/2014

“School Funding Reform Act” Improves How Illinois Supports Public Schools, Students

“School Funding Reform Act” Improves How Illinois Supports Public Schools, Students Advance Illinois supports the School Funding Reform Act of 2014 that proposes a new, straightforward funding formula with the driving goal of improving student performance. The cornerstone of the proposed legislation is a single formula that would distribute 92 cents of every state dollar invested in K-12 education in a way that attends to student needs and consistently accounts for school districts’ ability to support public schools with local resources. As introduced, additional funding would be provided for students who confront specific academic challenges such as poverty, language ability or special learning needs. This represents a targeted investment backed by decades of research. “The School Funding Reform Act of 2014 lays the groundwork for a state education funding system that supports all Illinois students no matter where they live or how much their family earns,” said Miguel del Valle, chair of the Illinois P-20 Council and an Advance Illinois board member. “Research, and our own common sense, tells us that students come to school with varying needs and abilities, and Illinois must create an education system that supports all kids to reach their potential.” Filed by Sen. Andrew Manar (D-Bunker Hill), the School Funding Reform Act of 2014 represents a comprehensive overhaul of Illinois education funding system that has not changed in nearly two decades. The legislation stems from the blueprint put forth by a bipartisan task force of Illinois senators. In February, the Illinois Education Funding Advisory Committee recommended the state revamp the education funding system with the aim of more efficiently spending what state funds are available for education. “In 1997, during my tenure as governor, we made meaningful changes to a funding system that served the needs of Illinois public schools at the time,” said former Gov. Jim Edgar, who served as Illinois’ chief executive from 1991 to 1999 and a founding co-chairman of Advance Illinois. “Nearly two decades later, Illinois needs a funding system that responds to the needs of today’s students, educators and schools.” The School Funding Reform Act of 2014 focuses on how Illinois distributes state education funds, though Illinois leaders should not overlook the challenge of how much Illinois invests in public education. Illinois would be wise to develop a long-term plan to reach a truly adequate level of education funding. It will require a sustained commitment to ensure all Illinois students have the resources needed to succeed. “Only by creating a more equitable state education funding system in tandem with long-term plans to increase revenue to a truly adequate level will we meaningfully invest in the future of our students and our state,” said Robin Steans, executive director of Advance Illinois.
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03/23/2014

Statement on Speaker Madigan's Proposed Increase for Education Funding

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03/07/2014

State Senator Pushes Education Reform for All Counties

The Senate Education Funding Advisory Committee submitted a report late last month with recommendations on how to streamline funding to districts across the state. Co-chair Sen. Andy Manar and committee members argue that money is not being equitably distributed to schools that need it most. Sen. Manar detail the report, and what he's looking to do next to reform education funding in the state. WBEZ Chicago Public Radio - February 27
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03/07/2014

Minority Male Students Face Challenge to Achieve at Community Colleges

Although black and Latino male students enter community colleges with higher aspirations than those of their white peers, white men are six times as likely to graduate in three years with a certificate or degree, according to a report... The Chronicle of Higher Education - February 26
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02/21/2014

Op-Ed: Equity Is the Key to Better School Funding

The relationship between government spending on K-12 public education and student outcomes has been an endless source of debate among those involved in education policy...Some argue that there is no correlation between spending and outcomes. But new research from our management-consulting firm, the Boston Consulting Group, adds another dimension to the discussion. Education Week - February 18 Marin Gjaja is a senior partner and managing director at the Boston Consulting Group, and is on the board of Advance Illinois. J. Puckett is a senior partner and managing director at BCG. Matt Ryder is a consultant at BCG.
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02/21/2014

State Superintendent Calls for Funding Hike

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02/21/2014

Their Children’s First Teachers: Latino Parents Targeted in Early Education Efforts

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01/24/2014

Educating to Meet Needs

Business and Education leaders are working in 20 Illinois Communities to arm students with more academic skills in math and science. Illinois Public Radio's Tanya Koonce reports it's called the Pathways Initiative. Peoria Public Radio, NPR - January 20
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01/24/2014

CCC Announces Increases in Graduation Rate and Other Metrics Critical to Student Success

Demonstrating the continued progress of City Colleges' Reinvention effort, Chancellor Cheryl Hyman announced today that the community college system met or exceeded 20 out of 24 of the key performance metrics outlined in its five-year plan for FY2013...the City Colleges' graduation rate has nearly doubled since Reinvention, reaching 13% in FY2013. City Colleges of Chicago - January 15
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01/24/2014

Testing Times for Illinois Students

Tens of thousands of students will spend more time on testing this spring, as Illinois launches an unprecedented "field test" of new state exams in more than 2,000 schools - about half the schools in the state. Chicago Tribune - January 17
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