Revised Funding Formula Would Mean Millions for Local Schools

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ROCKFORD – School districts in Winnebago, Boone and Stephenson counties would receive more than $27 million in additional revenue under a revised funding formula unveiled by the Illinois State Board of Education this week.

The calculations by ISBE are based on a new way of distributing state education funds under Senate Bill 16, introduced by Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, and co-sponsored by Sen. Steve Stadelman, D-Rockford. SB 16 would provide more assistance to school districts with high poverty and low property values that do not generate enough tax revenue for education.

"Where a student lives shouldn't dictate the quality of education that child receives," Stadelman said. "The numbers clearly show that poorer school districts do better under this new formula."

ISBE projects that Rockford Public Schools would receive an additional $18.5 million dollars under a new distribution method that ties state assistance more to need than Illinois’ current system. Most school districts in the area would also receive more state aid:

- Rockford $18.5 million 17.5% increase
- Harlem $2 million 8.7% increase
- Belvidere $3.1 million 12.1% increase
- North Boone $926,000 17.1% increase
- Hononegah $101,000 2.2% increase
- Freeport $3 million 18.1% increase

Sen. Stadelman and Sen. Manar met last month with local school superintendents to brief them on the legislation and answer questions. The legislation has since been sent by the Senate Executive Committee to the full Senate for consideration.

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