State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) is putting forward a new plan designed to overhaul school funding in Illinois.
The proposal, announced Thursday by the Republican senator, calls for an "evidence-based" school funding model that puts emphasis on the needs of students and classrooms. According to a news release, the plan, developed with the Vision 20/20 coalition of educators and school officials, would "[tie] school funding to actual educational outcomes and true district costs."
"If we're ever going to end the funding disparity between school districts and replace the clearly broken funding mechanism that is in place now, we have to look to real, evidence-based solutions," Barickman said in the release. "This legislation will allow us to truly understand how every dollar spent affects our children's education, so that we can get the best possible results for every single district."
State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), who has been pushing a separate school funding reform bill that places greater focus on the needs of school districts, joined Barickman in announcing the new proposal, saying he is "committed to working in concert with Sen. Barickman and school management officials as they continue to bring real and tangible ideas to the table."
Manar recently announced a revised version of his school-funding proposal in an effort to garner more legislative support for the measure. Manar's tweaked proposal is SB 1.
"As Senate Bill 1 advances, I am more confident than ever that we can improve the bill with bipartisan solutions that address both the equity and adequacy of school funding in Illinois," Manar said.
Under Barickman's proposal, an "Evidence-Based Professional Judgment Panel" would be set up to "determine the minimal level of local and state funding for each district and provide recommendations on how to address the state's neediest districts first in a multi-year plan to phase in the adequacy model in an equitable manner." The panel would have to report back by December 1.