So… What is 100% Funding for Public Schools?

Background:

When you cut through the tag lines and the political applause for the effort to fund public schools at 100%, it is critical to know what it really means.  The bottom line, what 100% funding means is that the State will fund General State Aid at 100% of $6,119 as the foundation level.  The $6,119 was the foundation level in Fiscal Year 2010 and is now set as the foundation level in Fiscal Year 2017.

To understand the real impact, we have to be able to compare like numbers.  Had $6,119 been the funded foundation level last year it would have generated $67,961.85 per GSA payment, but at 92% proration, it generated $62,927.64.  This year, at 100%, we will receive $65,074.45 per GSA payment.  When you compare 100% in 2016 and 100% in 2017, we will receive $2,887.40 less this year than we should have receive a year ago, but $2,146.81 more per GSA payment than we actually received.  To this point, the State has made every anticipated GSA payment for this fiscal year.

At this time, last year, the State IOU looked like this…


Fiscal Year 2016 Deficit Funding

  • GSA    $50,342.10 (proration 92%)

  • SPED  $102,481.74

  • AG      $2,052.00

  • Lunch  $113.40

  • DE       $0

  • TRAN $43,864.44

  • PK       $29,778.00

  • PK       $29,778.00

  • Total   $228,631.68


Fiscal Year 2017 Deficit Funding

  • GSA    $0

  • SPED  $174,297.77

  • AG      $2,040.00

  • Lunch  $226.50

  • DE       $4,417.48

  • TRAN $99,871.44

  • PK       $65,400.00

  • Previous Year $101,475.00

  • Total   $446,728.19


In the fairest of representations, in this fully funded environment, we have received $218,096.51 less from the State at the start of the new year.

Outcome:

Our local revenue has steadily matched on a percentage basis to our growing cost of operations, but State funding has lagged significantly behind a reasonable growing cost of operations.  A simple consideration, had the foundation level grown by only 1.8% per year since FY2010, a reasonable representation of economic indicators, our district would be receiving approximately $600,000 more in General State Aid, which would overcome our entire deficit and create a modest $150,000 surplus in our Education fund.  If nothing changes, the balance in our education fund will be gone in 4 years and we will potentially not be able to cash flow the months of March and April within 2 years.  Our local taxpayers have met their entire obligation to our students.  The challenging situation that exists is primarily the responsibility of our State’s unwillingness to invest appropriately in public education.

Action:

Engage in the conversation with our state representatives to work toward a solution that best impacts not just the students in LeRoy Schools but those throughout our State.

Key Points

  • In failing to grow the foundation level, the State has put a much more significant liability on our property owners.  We are currently 72% locally funded.

  • The Evidence Based Model is a research based model used to determine an adequate level of resources necessary to create the conditions for a globally competitive educational opportunity for all students.  “Why Should Illinois Adopt an Evidence Based Model for School Funding”

  • A property tax freeze without a greater commitment from our State to appropriately fund public education will lead to a dramatic change in the opportunities for our students.   For example, class sizes, support services, instructional programming, extra and co-curricular programs, etc…

3 Critical Questions

  1. What are the implications of the status quo, to our students, our local economy, and the capacity of our State?

  2. What is their plan for a solution?

  3. How do they see it impacting the students of the LeRoy School System?


Representative Bill Mitchell
5130 Hickory Point Frontage Road
Suite 100
Decatur, IL 62526
repmitchell@earthlink.net


Senator Chapin Rose
510 S Staley Rd
Suite D
Champaign, IL 61822
cr@chapinrose.net