Althoff Tells of Impact of New State Aid to Education Formula

A press release from State Senator Dan McConchie:

McHenry, Lake County schools fare better under compromise school funding proposal

Springfield, IL… According to an analysis from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), local schools in the 32nd Senate District would receive more financial help under a compromise school funding bill sponsored by State Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry).

Senate Bill 1124 Amendment 3 would fix the state’s broken school aid formula—providing a more equitable system for all 852 Illinois schools than any previous proposal.

“This legislation is the most fair and equitable school funding reform proposal the General Assembly has seen,” said Sen. Althoff.

“It represents the priorities of both Republican and Democrat lawmakers, and reflects the recommendations presented by the bipartisan, bicameral Illinois School Funding Reform Commission.”

According to the data provided from ISBE, Senate Bill 1124 Amendment 3 would do a better job of delivering financial help to low-income students than previous legislation advanced by the General Assembly, including Senate Bill 1.

School aid comparison in State Senator Pam Althoff’s district.

In fact, though proponents of SB1 have touted financial increases for schools through tier funding, the ISBE analysis clearly shows every single school district in the state would receive more tier funding under Senate Bill 1124 as amended.

“Regardless of zip code, this legislation treats all school districts the same and focuses on best practices to create real equity,” said Sen. Althoff.

“Not only is SB 1124 better for schools in my district, but it is better for all schools across the state.”

A major difference between Senate Bill 1124 SFA3 and Senate Bill 1 is how Chicago Public Schools (CPS) are treated.

Both bills use the same system to establish the base funding minimum for schools, which ensures that no school would lose money.

However, Democrats added hundreds of millions of dollars to the base funding minimum for CPS, money that no other school would have access to.

“We all care deeply about the students in Chicago, but to put CPS ahead in line of other school districts who need just as much help is just not fair,” said. Sen. Althoff.

“Under Senate Bill 1, CPS would get a sweetheart deal designed to, and effectively making, the city and economic engine of Illinois look so poor as to be pushed ahead of 100s of school districts in this state who really are in need.”

Governor Rauner has promised to veto SB1, referring to the massive windfall for CPS as a “bailout.”

Rauner made it clear however, that he would sign SB1124 due to its more equitable and fair method for funding all schools.

Sen. Althoff said she is interested in reforming the school funding formula to provide fair and adequate funding to all 852 schools districts, not just one, which is why she has sponsored Senate Bill 1124.

Senate Bill 1124 accepts the conceptual framework and key reform provisions from Senate Bill 1, including additional provisions for students living in concentrated poverty, protections for students who are bilingual or in need of special education services, charter school parity, and escalators and regionalization factors to acknowledge variable costs.

Furthermore, this evidence-based bill also establishes an adequacy target for each district in the exact same way as Senate Bill 1 and distributes the funds equitably through a similar tiered system to ensure that those districts with the greatest gap and that are most in need get state money first.
Senator Althoff said she remains hopeful that the Senate will immediately take up SB1124 during special session.

A comparison between how the two bills would fund schools in the 32nd District is available on Senator Althoff’s website.

The full ISBE analysis for both bills is available at

= = = = =
So far, I haven’t been able to grasp how local property tax effort is measured.

As readers know, homes and small apartments in Cook County are assessed at 22% of Fair Market Value, while those outside of Cook County are assessed 50% higher at 33% of market value.

I’d like to know if there is any equalization contained in the bill.


Althoff Tells of Impact of New State Aid to Education Formula — 26 Comments

  1. The greater amount of ‘poverty’ residents in a school district – the more taxpayer dollars we will waste.

    Compare the level of state aid to the quality of the product produced by the school district.

    State level school aid (which I do not support – all tax dollars for public education should, imo, be produced locally) should be based on the product produced not on the level of income of the residents.

  2. IMO property taxes should pay for the buildings and grounds, stuff we own.

    The State income taxes should pay for the actual education.

    Either way till Cook co and Chicago pay the same property tax rate as us we will continue to be a donor county.

  3. Here is one of many additions found in SAM 3:

    “(105 ILCS 5/17-3.6 new)

    Sec. 17-3-6.

    Educational purposes tax rate for school districts subject to Property Tax Limitation Law.

    Notwithstanding the provisions, requirements, or limitations of this Code or any other law, any tax levied for EDUCATIONAL purposes by a school district subject to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for the 2016 levy year or any subsequent levy year may be extended at a rate EXCEEDING the rate established for EDUCATIONAL purposes by referendum or this Code, provided that the rate does not cause the school district to exceed the limiting rate applicable to the SCHOOL DISTRICT under the Property Tax Limitation Law for that levy year.”

    Emphasis added.

  4. Teacher salary hikes, teacher collective bargaining hikes, administrator salary hikes, and administrator contracts are likely an “educational purpose.”

    “Educational purpose” likely refers to the Education Fund.

    Here are the permissible funds in an Illinois public school district budget:

    10 – Educational

    20 – Operations & Maintenance

    30 – Debt Service

    40 – Transportation

    50 – Municipal Retirement / Social Security

    60 – Capital Projects

    70 – Working Cash

    80 – Tort

    90 – Fire Prevention & Safety

  5. Both SB 1 & SB 1124 in the 100th General Assembly provide more state taxpayer funding for public education.


    The pension benefit hikes, while pensions were already underfunded, is the biggest problem in Illinois public education funding.

    The TRS pension as of FY 2016 is 36% funded.

    As of June 30, 2016:

    Should have been in the fund: $124,187,003,384

    Was in the fund: $45,250,956,731.

    Taxpayer IOU to the fund: $78,936,046,653.


    That means taxpayers are being asked to fund 64% more than what is already in the fund.

    Where would the 64% more come from?

    Tax hikes?

    Diverted revenue from service cuts, salary freezes, furloughs, etc.?


    How ridiculous is it that we are asking for more money for public education, when taxpayers owe $79B to the TRS teacher pension fund alone.

    TRS is all school districts outside Chicago.

    Chicago has its own pension fund for teachers, administrators, and most other school district employees (Chicago Public Schools does not participate in IMRF).

  6. Until we have serious pension reform, there will be a never ending funding crisis (demand for more taxpayer money) in Illinois.

    There has been no indication the General Assembly is talking about serious pension reform (there would be mass protests if that were the case).

  7. By the way.

    More money for public education that results in teacher and administrator salary hikes, or in adding more teachers and administrators, worsens that $79B taxpayer IOU.

    The taxpayer situation in Illinois is completely ridiculous.

  8. Mmmmh, wouldn’t that be a call for agitators to head to the streets? We know irresponsible commenters too well. Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  9. Keep electing those former schoolteachers and this is what you get.

    A fight for scraps from the Democrats.

  10. D J, you are so right . . . Angel is a prime example of what you get in the Educational System.

    Time to starve it of dollars, maybe then, the good teachers will be free and kick out the bad.

  11. Compassionate conservatives disguise their agenda very creatively with the word “freedom.” We know better. Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  12. And what is Angel’s plan for the $79 billion dollar IOU to the teacher and administrator pension fund.

    Bird dogging the local blog isn’t a plan, that’s a strategy.

  13. I’m getting ready for those mass protests that would not be considered “agitating” by any means from my compassionate conservative friends; just very fiscally patriotic. These commenters and their moral bankruptcy are very entertaining. Thanks sunshine blogger for your continued service to our democracy, free markets, and forever rural McHenry county. Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  14. What’s the plan for the $79 billion dollar IOU to the teacher and administration pension fund.

    You participate in the teacher pension plan.

    You have no plan?

  15. The babies are so cute as they play with their toes.

    No worries at all because Mama and Dada magically take care of baby’s needs.

    No struggle to pay for the food or diapers is recognized because the toes are the only interest.

    The unfortunate part is the baby has controlled the parent’s behavior for so long it thinks it’s in charge and no consequence decisions are just how to live life.

    Never mind the idiot parents are dying trying to keep up with baby’s demands.

    Sweet sweet baby…

    We love you.

    We want only the best for you.

    But we have made a mistake in being too indulgent.

    We are facing the hard reality this indulgence will need to stop.

    It will be tough on all of us baby but it will ultimately save all our lives and household.

    Please know we only want to secure all our futures, as you cannot survive without us, so we will need to harden our hearts to your crying.

    You will be fed and healthy.

    You just won’t be fat, demanding and entitled.

    We are sorry we did not train you better sooner.

  16. See a teacher? Thank a teacher! 2018, is that you at the door? Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  17. YouTube

    Illinois House GOP Channel

    Rep. Jesiel Points Out Flaws in SB 1

    published on June 26, 2017

    “Asking tough questions during testimony on education funding reform, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R – Winthrop Harbor) points out how the alternative proposals to Senate Bill 1, Senate Bill 1124 and House Bill 4069, actually ensure more funding goes to every school district in the state.

    Find out more at”

  18. That above video was taken at the:

    100th General Assembly

    Committee of the Whole Meeting

    Saturday June 24, 2017

  19. More specifically it was the Committee of the Whole Meeting on Education Funding Reform in the Illinois State House of Representatives.

    The meeting began at 2PM.


    Looking at the table in the video from left to right, seated are:

    – Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Tax & Budget Accountability (CTBA), which is a left leaning policy organization, a counter to the Illinois Policy Institute.

    – Ginger Ostro, Executive Director of Advance Illinois. She replaced Robin Steans and was previously CFO of Chicago Public Schools.

    – Jessica Handy, Government Affairs Director, Stand for Children.

    – Dr. Jennifer Garrison, Superintendent of Sandoval CUSD 501. That’s a preK-12 (preschool through 12th grade) school district with an enrollment of about 500 in Marion County.

    – Republican Senator Jason Barickman, a Sponsor of SB 1124. His office is in Blommington (McLean County).

    – Dr. Beth Purvis, Secretary of Education, Office of the Governor. She is in the Rauner Administration, not an employee of the Illinois State Board of Education.

  20. YouTube

    Illinois Senate GOP Schedule

    Education Funding Update: Senate Bill 1124 SFA 3

    published on June 29, 2017


    Senate Bill 1124 (SB 1124) counterpart in the House is House Bill 4069 (HB 4069).


    In the video from left to right is:

    Senator Tom Rooney, State Education Secretary Beth Purvis, Senator Dan McConchie, Senator Karen McConnaughay, & Senator Pam Althoff

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