Is there enough time before the next fiscal year to reform the state’s school funding formula?

Senate President John Cullerton Spokesman John Patterson said there is enough time to pass reform before the next fiscal year is set to begin and schools across the state except state funds.

“I realize that it’s getting late in the session but this is an initiative that has been years in the works,”  Patterson said.

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Republican state Sen. Jason Barickman said there isn’t enough time.

“We ought to just fund the schools the best we can today and work together with everyone at the table on a formula fix that’s good for all of the state of Illinois and all of its students,” Barickman said.

A report released Tuesday on the impact of a school funding formula reform proposal is already out of date.

Patterson said the bill was amended Wednesday morning, “and as a result the model the state Board of Education put out is no longer current,” Patterson said.

Barickman said before the measure was amended the proposed funding reform was a “major bailout of the bankrupt Chicago school system.” 

Barickman said that seems to be the case even after the amendment.

“I think this thing is still positioned to be a bailout for Chicago Public Schools,” Barickman said. “It’s trying to spend money from the state that doesn’t exist.”

The state has until May 31 to pass a budget for K-12 funding with simple majorities. Super majorities would be needed to pass funding after that. The next fiscal year begins July 1.


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