Evidence-Based Funding Formula Overview


Illinois Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Model

Equity and Adequacy.  A fair school funding system and an adequate state investment in public education are the cornerstones to providing the type of educational opportunities necessary for every child to succeed. But understanding what to invest in also is critically important.  This fast-paced, two-and-a half minute video will give you an overview of a school funding plan that could help transform public education in Illinois.

The Evidence-Based funding for Student Success model is one of the centerpieces of the Vision 20/20 blueprint for the future of public education in Illinois and we believe the best path to follow in reforming Illinois’ outdated school funding formula. As the name suggests, the model relies on research – basing funding levels to provide resources for practices that have been proven to help drive student success. Equity is built in and adequacy is defined by a District Adequacy Target based on 27 research-based elements.

The plan preserves current funding levels for all districts while funneling the vast majority of new state education funding to school districts the furthest from their District Adequacy Target to help them close that gap. Educating children is the most important investment a state can make. The Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success model is the most proven way to define that investment.

Reuse of this video for educational, noncommercial purposes only, derivative works prohibited.


July 13, 2016

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability released the following issue brief: Why Illinois Should Adopt an Evidence-Based Education Funding Model.  Read more: 

  CTBA Evidence Based Funding Model Issue Brief
(627.8 KiB)


May 27, 2016

The Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success model was approved in the Senate by a 31-18 vote with eight senators voting present. House Bill 3190 then moved to the House, where its prospects for passage are uncertain given the volatile political environment in Springfield.

HB 3190, introduced by Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), includes Sen. Andy Manar’s (D-Bunker Hill) school funding formula for the upcoming 2016-17 school year. The evidence-based model then would be implemented beginning July 1, 2017. Manar told reporters Thursday that he did not view the evidence-based model as competition with his proposal, SB 231, saying “Both plans are trying to get to the same place.”

IASA Executive Director Dr. Brent Clark agreed, saying “We have a 20-year-old formula that needs to be fixed to drive more resources to those districts most in need. The evidence-based model accomplishes that by maintaining current levels of funding for every district in the state and then directing most of any new state education funding to those districts furthest from their adequacy number.”

The House already has passed its own bill, Senate Bill 2048, a comprehensive state budget bill that contains more than $700 million in new funding for K-12. That proposal contains $500 million in new money to be distributed in an Equity Grant similar to how $85 million was distributed in last year’s supplemental K-12 funding. The House Democrats bill also includes $75 million more for early childhood education and $205 million to pay for the normal pension costs of the Chicago Teachers Retirement System. Governor Bruce Rauner has said if it passes the Senate, he plans to veto SB 2048 because it is more than $7 billion out of balance.

The evidence-based model passed out of the Senate Executive Committee by an 11-2-1 vote after testimony from Clark, Illinois Association of School Boards Executive Director Roger Eddy, Illinois Association of School Business Officials Executive Director Dr. Michael Jacoby and Ralph Martire, the Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.

Even the two Republicans who voted against the proposal in committee expressed their support for Vision 20/20. Objections in committee and on the Senate floor were based on their concerns about funds being sent to Chicago for the CPS pension payment and the fact that they had not yet seen district-by-district numbers for the evidence-based plan. It was made clear that under HB 3190 no district would receive less per student than it receives for the upcoming school year — a base funding amount that will depend on what districts receive for FY17.


Contact the initiative: questions@illinoisvision2020.org