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Proposed New Funding Formula Creates Lose-Lose Situation For D-87

Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:14:20 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

Proposed New Funding Formula Creates Lose-Lose Situation For D-87 The precise impact of legislation to change the school funding formula won't be known until close to the end of the legislative session. But, the head of the Bloomington School system says the news won't be good. State Senator Any Manar's measure would make funding determinations based on need, to address disparities in what rich and poor districts receive.
District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly says that measure based on tax base and needy children would hit the district hard.

In comparison to others around us we have a higher concentration of poverty kids. We also have a, if you compare us to most districts that have high poverty counts, our property tax values are better.

District 87 also loses substantial state aid under a different scenario using the existing funding formula. If the temporary income tax increase goes away, Bloomington Schools' State aid would drop by 20%. Reilly says any scenario currently out there is bad for District 87.

"Any scenario that's out there doesn't look good for District 87.

Reilly says he's not optimistic.

The state of Illinois, I don't see anything in the near future that suggests things are going to get better"

In the last four years, District 87 has had its state aid fall by a quarter and more cuts may happen even if the new funding formula does not pass. Backers of the new funding formula say it shouldn't matter how well individual districts will make out, because the goal should be to treat all students and their schools equitably.

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