When equalization of Illinois funding results in inequity

Friday, April 11, 2014

It is hard to fathom that the main instrument created to “equalize” funding among Illinois’ public schools has instead contributed to historic levels of funding inequality across the state.

Three fundamental flaws in the General State Aid formula perpetuate the disparity: The complexity of the formula, the continual flow of state funding to districts regardless of how much is spent locally per pupil, and the failure to account for extraordinary costs associated with students with special needs.

The GSA formula, created in 1997, is composed of three separate calculations, one of which is applied to every school district. All three are based on the amount of local resources or assessed valuation in a district.

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