Let’s Not Throw Out the Baby with the Bath Water, at Least Not Yet

With the session drawing to a close, the two big items looming over us are the budget and finding a new formula for funding education. While the Governor and Speaker continue to circle each other like turkeys circling a dead cat over the budget, we’ve been working on a plan to change the way education is funded in Illinois.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a member of the K-12 Appropriations Committee, the K-12 Curriculum and Policies Committee and the House Commission established to examine the “evidence based model” embodied in H.B. 2808. H.B. 2808 was voted out of committee this week, and will move on to second reading on the House floor.

I voted “no” in committee because the bill is not complete, and because I’m not convinced that we can’t accomplish the same result by making changes to the current formula. The evidence based model has much to commend it, but simplicity is not one of them.

In 2015 I published a series of posts (here, here, here, here and here) which explained the shortcomings in the current funding formula. Now that I’m in the legislature, I now have the opportunity to have an impact on fixing it.

In my latest episode of “Riding Shotgun with Steve”, I discuss the current funding formula and talk about making some changes that I believe may accomplish the goal of providing adequate state funding without throwing out the formula altogether.

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