ERIC Number: ED330041
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
The Inequity in Illinois School Finance. An Analysis of the Current Situation, the Historical Record, and Alternative Solutions.
Hess, G. Alfred, Jr.; And Others
In November 1990, a group of 47 school districts filed suit against the state of Illinois, charging that inequity in school financing violates the right to equal protection under the state constitution. This report, prepared by a coalition of 17 Chicago-based nonprofit organizations, provides Illinois citizens with an analysis of current school finance inequities, some historical background, and alternative funding options. Illinois schools are supported by revenues received from local property taxes, state aid and grants, and federal grants. The amount of support varies from district to district, due to differences in property wealth, tax rates, and the number of low-income students qualifying for state or federal assistance. Some property wealth variations are so high and the state support level so low that revenue disparities have reached an intolerable 5:1 ratio. Funding inequity causes may be traced to three areas: school enrollments, property wealth, and state policy. Some taxpayers bear an unfair tax burden, while others pay very little. Addressing both equity in per pupil expenditure and taxpayer equity, The EdEquity Coalition has examined four funding options: (1) an increased foundation level of state support; (2) an income tax-property tax offset; (3) a county assumption formula; and (4) a state nonresidential education property tax. Combinations of these options are both possible and likely. Appendices contain information on racial/ethnic population shifts, Illinois school enrollment figures, property wealth changes, poverty-impacted districts, per pupil revenues, county tax exchange gains and losses, and county tax rates for the county assumption option. (MLH/author)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: EdEquity Coalition, Chicago, IL.
Note: Report compiled by the Options Task Force. The figures in Appendix D may not reproduce adequately in paper copy.