The following was written by Cary Elementary School Board President Scott Coffey under the article about the high effective tax rates paid in McHenry County, compared to the rest of the Chicago Metropolitan Area:
Regarding General State Aid for Chicago vs the suburbs below are some observations:
1. For 2017, Chicago will receive $1.1 billion in GSA ($3,183/pupil) with $704 million (or 64%) coming from the Poverty Grant component of GSA and the remainder coming from the Foundation formula which is primarily driven by EAV.
2. Crystal Lake D-47 will receive $8.8 million in GSA (only $1,246/pupil) with $1.0 million (or 12.5%) sourced from the Poverty Grant formula and $7.8 million from the Foundation component which is driven by EAV.
The GSA formula is structurally designed to more heavily weight funding to the Poverty Grant component based on DHS Low Income counts.
Therefore, the big winners in GSA funding will be democrat controlled cities (i.e. Chicago, Waukegan, Rockford, Elgin, etc.) given their high DHS Low Income counts.
Combine the GSA funding disparity with Chicago’s large EAV base and all the other funding Chicago receives from the State for categorical reimbursement and Federal sources, and you get a massive contrast in educational spending between Chicago and a suburban district.
Per ISBE, Chicago spends $9,778 per pupil on “Instructuctional Spending” alone.
Contrast that against local unit district’s spending rates of $4,879/pupil for Huntley 158 and $6,593 for Woodstock 200.
And this funding disparity will only grow worse as the legislature continues its efforts to modify state funding legislation to “re-distribute the wealth” away from the suburbs and send it over to Chicago, Waukegan, Rockford, etc.
For my district, Cary #26, we’ve spent years driving our operating cost structure down with the expectation that we’ll have to fund operations primarily on local resources.
ISBE has already scored several proposals over the last couple of years, and I don’t think too many McHenry County districts avoid a painful hit.