May 18, 2017

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This message is from the Executive Directors of the organizations that comprise the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance: Roger Eddy (IASB), Brent Clark (IASA), Mike Jacoby (IASBO), Jason Leahy (IPA).
With the scheduled end of the Spring Session of the General Assembly quickly approaching, there is a flurry of activity related to several issues that are critically important to the School Management Alliance.  In the coming days, we will be requesting that you be prepared to contact your Representative and Senator to express our positions on specific legislation that support position statements of the Alliance. Please watch for "Calls to Action" regarding specific proposals and make those contacts. The purpose of this Alliance Alert is to make our position on certain critical issues clear.
New Funding Formula
Discussions continue as to changes to the current funding formula with most of the focus on implementation of an "Evidence Based Funding Model" (EBM).  This type of funding model was an important pillar in Vision 2020.  Over the past couple of years, the Alliance has worked with the educational community, various task forces and members of the General Assembly to craft language that would lead to a change in the current funding model.   As the session draws to a close, our efforts will continue toward this goal.  To be clear, there are some important positions that we adhere to during the negotiations:
  1. It has consistently been the position of the Alliance that all districts do not receive less funding per pupil than they received the previous year.
    If a district's total student population decreases, total funding might decrease.  Simply stated, that means NO RED NUMBERS.
  2. An "Adequacy Target" would be calculated for every school district in Illinois that is tied to demographic factors unique to each district.  There are 27 factors in the model. Addressing funding for these factors is centered heavily on research and is reliant on employing best practices to support quality education for students. 

  3. We support additional new revenue which is necessary in order to achieve the goals of equity and adequacy that this model envisions. The new revenue would be distributed to the neediest districts with a local effort calculation included.
  Mandate Relief
It has long been the position of the Management Alliance to oppose new unfunded and under-funded mandates for schools.  Local control of our schools is important and we firmly believe that locally-elected officials make the best decisions regarding the use of resources to provide a quality education for their students.  When new mandates are enacted, we have worked to ensure that the requirements are implemented with policies that reflect those requirements.  We also continue to seek relief from existing mandates.  Once again, we believe that relief from existing mandates would allow locally elected officials to make decisions they believe are best for students in their district.  We want to make it very clear that the Alliance Position has not changed and we strongly support efforts to reduce existing mandates that place control of the decision with locally elected officials.  Examples of mandate relief include, but are not limited to, third party contracting, driver's education and physical education

This legislative report was written and edited by the lobbyists of the Illinois Association of School Boards to provide information to the members of the organizations that comprise the Statewide School Management Alliance.