Drinks and Dialogue: Evidenced Based Education Funding

The Greater Peoria League of Women Voters will discuss Evidenced Based Education Funding at its
Drinks and Dialogue event, 5:30 – 6:30 pm on Wednesday, October 18, at the Lariat Steakhouse, 2232 W.
Glen Avenue, Peoria.
Beth Derry, Peoria County Regional Superintendent of Education, will present an overview of the
elements of the recent education bill passed by Illinois State Legislature and its impact on Peoria County
schools.
The League of Women Voters of IL has long been an advocate of access to equal and equitable education
for public schools. Recently, the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor passed and signed HB
1947. This bill has the potential for equity for education funding for our schools. While not perfect, this
law allows the budget item for General State Aid to Education to be funded for school year 2017-2018.
As a result, Illinois public schools can operate during the current year with an expectation that funding
will arrive in timely manner. The law also reforms the formula for school aid to enable public schools to
meet needs of students using an evidence based model with strategies that have been proven. The old
formula asked: “What money does the state have available and how should it be allocated?” The new
model asks: “What do schools need to provide their children with the education they need?”
One of the concerns with this law is that schools need more money to do their job than the state is
providing. More than half of the school districts in the state have been operating at a deficit. The
percentage of the state’s contribution continues to dwindle. The strategies in the evidence based model
will require more money to implement, thus more money to operate. Will there be enough revenue to
fund spending in the current budget? Some items such as special education and transportation are not
covered by General State Aid. These expenses are paid when the state has enough money its checkbook.
The event is free and the public is invited. Refreshments are available for purchase.
Drinks and Dialogue is offered on the 3
rd
Wednesday of the month, starting at 5:30 pm and ending
promptly at 6:30 pm, always at a local restaurant, to discuss local, state and national topics relating to
approved LWV positions, aimed at “Making Democracy Work.”

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