'Fix the Formula'

Administrators and superintendents statewide are taking a stand to ‘Fix the Formula’.

“Each district is unique,” said Dr. Mark Daniel, superintendent at McLean County Unit 5. “This model allows us to use best practices to drive what is the best decision and plan to improve our overall deliver of education.”

Academic administrators are pushing lawmakers to make funding reform a top priority.

That’s why they have revised the current funding plan.

“It’s all about equity and adequacy,” said Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat, superintendent of Peoria Public Schools. “Kids who need the most support, they’ll get more support. Students won’t be educated just based on their zip code.”

The Evidence Based Model determines the cost of education in each school district.

From there, the model will allocate state dollars to the schools that need it most.

“The Evidence Based Model looks at 27 essential elements of educating children in our state,” said Dr. Lindsey Hall, superintendent of Morton District 709. “Those elements are research-based. We look at the effect size of those elements and say, ‘these are the critical factors in providing quality education to students.’”

Unlike past funding proposals, the new model would make sure every school receives state funding.

“It will be necessary to have the funds to fund it,” said Hall. “Once schools numbers are through the formula, no one is going to lose or take a step backward.”

With this formula, schools that are constantly cutting programs will get a better opportunity to keep essential curriculum.

“I do have the need to enhance instruction and to hopefully move students into a greater amount of academic achievement and better college and career readiness,” said Daniel.

Overall, these superintendents want to ensure that the school districts will be able to maintain funding that provides the best academic environment for students.

 

“There’s a lot of energy in the community around supporting our schools,” said Desmoulin-Kherat. “And time and time again, we’re getting really good news about the progress that we’re making. There’s still a lot of work to do, but we do need the funding to keep that momentum going.”


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