The Illinois School Board Journal

Resources, September/October 2021

Front Page
By Theresa Kelly Gegen
… EdBuild, an organization dedicated to working on ways for states to make their funding formulas more equitable, was successful in garnering headlines and making school funding a national issue. The organization has dissolved, in part because it had successfully drawn attention to the issue at the national level, but also because “We didn’t really understand how very local this work has to be,” according to CEO Rebecca Sibilia. EdBuild leaves behind a set of online tools for comparing national to local school funding data, especially when considering the long term and optimistically moving past the coronavirus pandemic stage of funding issues.
Cover Story
Money Talk: Three Core Principles to Drive the District Forward

By PJ Caposey
… Every school district in Illinois wishes it had more money. This goes for districts spending less than $10,000 per year operational­ly per student and those spending 2.5 times that. The disparities in school funding and resources are abundant, but every leader I know wants more resources so they can do more for their kids. While whatever amount you have is “nev­er enough,” the harsh reality is that no matter how affluent a district may seem, every leader and school board member will undoubtedly be faced with difficult financial decisions that carry an enormous amount of impact and gravity…
PJ Caposey is an award winning educator, keynote speaker, consultant and author of eight books who currently serves as the Superintendent of Schools for the nationally recognized Meridian CUSD 223 School District in Northwest Illinois. You can find PJ on most social media platforms as @MCUSDSupe.
Cover Story
Confronting Fiscal Challenges Of COVID-19

By James B. Fritts
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic presented new fiscal and operational challenges that stretch beyond the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years. Excerpts below from the 2021 edition of Essentials of Illinois School Finance by James B. Fritts, discuss potential short- and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on revenue sources and managing costs, including the important role played by boards of education in the financial oversight of the distribution of relief funds.
K-12 Funding Policy Responses to COVID-19
By Eric Syverson
Funding K-12 public education is a perennial topic in education policy. Policymakers continue to grapple with questions pertain­ing to the amount of education spending and whether states equitably and adequately allocate funding among schools and stu­dents. The 2020 legislative session was no different, as Education Commission of the States tracked 40 states that enacted 172 bills. Currently, K-12 education makes up the second largest area of total state expenditures. So, even though states have different fund­ing systems and combinations of local versus state revenue sourc­es, K-12 education significantly impacts all state budgets. …