2024 K-12 School Funding FAQs

What are the projected changes in school funding in Illinois for the next year?

The State of Illinois is anticipating an increase in school funding for the next fiscal year. This is due to improved state revenue projections and a commitment from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to request additional funds to meet the evolving educational needs.

How will the increased state revenue impact school funding?

The increased state revenue in Illinois is expected to positively impact school funding. With the state's improved fiscal health, there is potential for a larger budget allocation to education, allowing for more resources to be directed towards schools.

What are the priorities for the additional funding in schools?

Priorities for the additional school funding include enhancing educational quality, addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, updating technology and infrastructure, and supporting programs that cater to diverse student needs.

Will there be any new programs introduced in schools with the increased funding?

While specific programs will depend on individual school districts, increased funding may allow for the introduction of new educational programs, particularly those focusing on technology, special education, and post-pandemic recovery initiatives.

What has the Illinois State Board of Education proposed for Fiscal Year 2025 programming?

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has recommended a significant increase in the General Funds investment for public education in Fiscal Year 2025, aiming for a total of approximately $11 billion. This represents an increase of $652.5 million over the FY 2024 General Funds appropriation. The recommendation includes a variety of new and continuing programs funded by state dollars to address ongoing needs and capitalize on demonstrated success, especially as federal COVID-19 relief funds are expiring. Here are the highlights of new programs proposed by ISBE in their recommended budget:

Smart Start Initiative

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Supporting Newcomer Students

Programs Transitioning from Federal COVID-19 Relief Funds to State Funding

ISBE has identified six programs currently supported by federal COVID-19 relief funds for continuation with state funding due to their ongoing need and demonstrated success:

These programs are aimed at sustaining improvements in instructional quality, enhancing staff capacities, supporting academic recovery, and addressing the social and emotional needs of students.


Evidence-Based Funding FAQs

What is Illinois' evidence-based funding (EBF)?

Evidence-based funding is a model adopted by Illinois to ensure that state funds are allocated to schools based on their specific needs. The goal is to provide more resources to the neediest districts, ensuring every student receives an adequate education.

How does the EBF model differ from the previous funding formula?

The old formula was based on a one-size-fits-all “Foundation Level” of per-pupil funding, which was both inadequate and inequitable. The EBF model, on the other hand, focuses on providing funds to districts furthest from their “Adequacy Targets,” ensuring that resources are allocated based on the specific needs of students.

What are "Adequacy Targets"?

Adequacy Targets represent the amount of funding research indicates is required for a district to provide the level of education its students need to succeed academically.

How has the EBF impacted low-income school districts?

In its first year, the EBF allocated over 89 percent of new school funding to “Tier I” school districts, which were furthest from having adequate funding. A significant portion of this funding went to districts serving predominantly low-income students, helping to address historic inequities.

What was the criticism against the old funding formula?

The old formula relied heavily on local property taxes, leading to significant disparities in funding between property-rich and property-poor districts. This made Illinois' school funding system one of the most regressive in the country.

What do supporters say about the EBF model?

Supporters argue that the EBF model is a significant step towards ensuring equitable funding for all districts, regardless of their property wealth. They believe it holds the promise of closing Illinois’ drastic funding and achievement gaps.

Are there any criticisms of the EBF model?

Some critics, including teachers' unions, have expressed concerns about certain aspects of the EBF, such as provisions that they believe could divert potential tax dollars away from public classrooms.

How does the EBF model impact Chicago Public Schools?

The EBF model provides additional funds to Chicago’s struggling school system, helping cover pensions and allowing Chicago to levy another property tax.

What is the future outlook for the EBF model?

While the EBF model has made strides in addressing funding inequities, there is still work to be done. As of a recent fiscal year, the majority of school districts in Illinois were still below their Adequacy Targets.


Illinois Workforce Pipeline Funding: 2020-2024 Overview

In recent years, the state of Illinois has made significant strides in addressing workforce challenges and ensuring that its residents have access to quality education and training opportunities. This article delves into the various initiatives and funding mechanisms that have been put in place to bolster the state's workforce pipeline.

Pipeline for the Advancement of the Healthcare Workforce (PATH)

The healthcare sector, already grappling with worker shortages, faced exacerbated challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To address this, the PATH program for FY2024 was introduced. With an anticipated funding of $25 million, the program aims to support individuals in nursing and select healthcare pathways. The funding methodology includes a base funding of $100,000 per district, with additional amounts based on program completions in eligible healthcare programs. The program also emphasizes equity, targeting underrepresented student groups and incumbent workers.

Illinois Educator Workforce Amidst the Pandemic

A report by Advance Illinois highlighted the state of the educator workforce during the pandemic. Surprisingly, the teacher shortage crisis showed signs of stability. Illinois now boasts more teachers, support staff, and school leaders than in the past decade. However, challenges persist in areas like special education, bilingual teaching, and paraprofessional positions. The report also underscores the need for a diverse educator workforce, as racial disparities continue.

Building Tech Talent in Springfield & Chicago

The Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT) has launched a program to nurture tech talent. Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) in Springfield and City Colleges of Chicago play a pivotal role in this initiative, having developed the curriculum and serving as training hubs. Trainees receive a minimum annual salary of $54,000 from DoIT while specializing in areas like cybersecurity and networking. Upon completion, they are offered full-time positions with DoIT.

Workforce Development through Education (Governor's FY 2025 Proposed Budget)

Illinois Workforce Pipeline Summary

Illinois' commitment to strengthening its workforce pipeline is evident in the various programs and initiatives it has introduced. From healthcare to education and technology, the state is making concerted efforts to ensure its residents have access to quality training and employment opportunities. As these programs continue to evolve, it will be crucial to monitor their impact and ensure they meet the changing needs of the workforce and the industries they serve.