Evidence Based Funding and D33

Evidence Based Funding and D33

Let’s talk about funding.  Our district is underfunded, according to the adequacy target calculated by the state.  The new evidence based funding formula calculates how much a district needs to provide an adequate education to it’s students based on a variety of factors including special needs students, low income  population, English Language Learners, etc.  
What does this mean for us?  District 33 is, in the 2018/2019 school year, at 59% adequacy (we’re one of the dark red districts in the graph shown).  This means that we have a shortfall of approximately $26M in funding.  We are one of only four districts in the county to be rated “Tier 1” by the county, which is considered the most “neediest.”  (WCHS Dist 94 is one of the other four) There are many other districts in the county, including neighboring districts, who are operating at over 100% adequacy.

The new funding approach means the state is providing our district additional resources in order to better serve our students.  Last year, we received a $2.7M from the state.  This is the money that is being recommended to be used to purchase the new ARC literacy curriculum.  This year we received the same amount, which is being mainly used for staff salaries, including the addition of needed staff.  The board will consider how to spend new resources from the state as it is distributed.  Given the track record of the state, who knows how this funding will hold up over time.  

In general, our fiscal health is strong (excluding the adequacy score given to us by the state).  We have a decent amount of reserves built up, which is excellent in case of some sort of funding shortage due to state or federal shortfalls.  

But these additional funds from the state allow us to better serve our students without having to increase taxes.  And that’s a good thing.

District 33 is one of the most severely underfunded districts in the state, given the needs of our students. Evidence Based Funding from the state is helping us provide additional services to our students.

Link for more info on the funding formula: https://www.isbe.net/Documents/EBF_Presentation_Overview.pdf
Link to source of graph: http://www.advanceillinois.org/datadesk-equitydashboard/

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