To the Editor:
In Gov. Rauner’s 2019 budget proposal, significant cost shifts further place the burden of funding education from the state and onto the shoulders of school districts serving rural low-income students and students of color. The vast majority of schools are not currently receiving adequate funding, and the Governor’s proposed pension cost shift will make these schools’ lack of finances that much worse.
Schools still have not received any dollars from the new, equitable funding formula adopted in August 2017. Despite the new formula’s intent of providing an additional $350 million each year, the budget proposal actually reduces the investment in public education year-to-year and means fewer dollars for classrooms and increased inequity and inadequacy among our schools. It will reinforce the reliance on local property taxes we fought so hard to change.
It is disappointing this budget would continue the divide in equitable funding for students in Illinois. The Governor said our state should “provide the best education system on earth for our kids.” He is now asking our children to bear the responsibility.
With the new formula, Illinois has a path to equitable and adequate school funding. We urge the General Assembly to pass the remaining cleanup to SB1947 so that money can begin to flow to schools. Then the state must make significant investments in the FY19 budget to start us down the path to equitable and adequate school funding.
Cobden CUSD 17
Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools