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State Board advocates for full Evidence-Based Funding for all school districts

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today approved its budget request for public education funding for fiscal year 2019. ISBE recommended an investment to support educational excellence totaling approximately $15.7 billion in State General Funds.


The recommended investment includes an Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) level that would ensure every school district in the state can cover the cost of providing a quality education to all students when combined with federal funding and local resources. The EBF investment would fulfill the State’s constitutional mandate to assume the primary responsibility for financing the system of public education. View the complete and approved budget request beginning on page 84 at


Preliminary EBF Adequacy Target calculations show current funding levels result in deep inequity in Illinois’ public schools. School districts in Illinois range from having 46 percent to 284 percent of the resources necessary to provide a quality education to students. The EBF Adequacy Target represents the cost of providing the best practices for staffing and other resources defined in the EBF law.


“The Adequacy Target gives us a common understanding of what students deserve for a quality education and whether the state is adequately supporting districts in meeting students’ needs,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The Illinois constitution is clear that the State is primarily responsible for funding schools. Our new funding formula is grounded in equity and recognizes that children and families across the state are situated differently. But the formula alone does not address the deep inequity we see – we now have to fund the formula to create the conditions for every child to thrive. The children in school today are not able to wait for another opportunity at a quality education. A better social and economic future for the state depends on providing all children with the quality education they deserve today.”


The EBF formula provides a path toward adequacy and equity for all school districts – but only if funded. The primary funding source for public education in Illinois remains local property taxes. ISBE’s FY 2019 budget recommendation reflects the belief that “primary responsibility” constitutes ensuring every district can meet at least 90 percent of its individual Adequacy Target through a combination of state and local funding. Federal grants on average supply the remaining 10 percent of school funding.


ISBE’s budget recommendation focuses on improving college and career readiness for all students through investments in equity, quality, community, and educator recruitment and recognition. The budget recommendation evolved from the stories of school districts statewide that are utilizing state funds to transform student outcomes and strengthen their communities. These districts prove that investments in effective educators, digital learning, diverse pathways to success, and family engagement are necessary to equip students to become socially and economically secure adults. The current generation of students represents the future of Illinois. A better future requires investments to ensure all students have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to thrive. ISBE’s FY 2019 budget recommendation includes the requests below, in addition to other line items:


Equity – Provide each child with the individualized supports he or she needs to meet our common, high expectations by investing:

  • $13.9 billion in Evidence-Based Funding
  • $493.7 million in Early Childhood Education
  • $25.8 million in Alternative Education


Quality – Recognize and nurture the strengths each student brings to the classroom and provide diverse pathways to success by investing:

  • $6.3 million in District Broadband Expansion
  • $2.2 million in the Competency-Based Education Pilot
  • $3 million in Advanced Placement Expansion


Community – Bridge services to meet the needs of the whole child by investing:

  • $15 million in the Healthy Community Incentive Fund
  • $2.5 million in Parent Mentoring

Educator Recruitment and Recognition – Expand and diversify the pipeline for recruitment and retain Illinois’ current teachers by investing:

  • $2 million in Teacher Mentoring
  • $1 million in Principal Mentoring
  • $1 million in National Board Certification
  • $700,000 in Diverse Educator Recruitment