Educators On Board With New Funding Formula | WGLT

Educators On Board With New Funding Formula

May 1, 2017

Supporters hope a new school funding formula in Illinois will even out inequities without hurting existing district funding.
Credit woodleywonderworks / Flickr

An expert on the proposed revision to the school funding formula says educators are on board with the idea even if politicians aren't there yet.

LeRoy School Superintendent Gary Tipsord spoke during a recent Town Hall on school funding at Heartland Community Colege about the so-called evidence based funding model.

"Politically there are a lot of questions for the General Assembly to answer and that's up to them to do. As educators we believe that the model does a really nice job at defining both the need and the responsibility effectively for all the districts in the state," said Tipsord.

Tipsord said the model defines success and accountability. It includes variables that trigger larger state contributions to a district such as poverty and poor tax base.

In spite of competing versions of a school funding reform bill and uncertainty about the state budget, the LeRoy Superintendent says he's optimistic about the prospects for change.

"I think we are in a place where the general consensus is the evidence based model makes sense. It is defendable. It is scalable. I think people have reached a point of comfort with that," said Tipsord.

Tipsord is an acknowledged expert on the evidence based model for school funding. He said the only way a new formula will pass the General Assembly, though, is if districts receive at least what they are getting now from the state. He said those political questions have yet to be resolved.
Tipsord said another quuestion is what the baseline budget year would be for funding going forward, since there is no budget.

There are several versions of legislation in the General Assembly, two sponsored by Republicans and one by a Democrat.