Former Chicago Schools chief: DuPage taxpayers should pay more for Chicago schools
Chicago's public schools already spend more per pupil than 29 of DuPage County’s 42 public school districts, but their former CEO Arne Duncan says Chicago schools need even more money, and that taxpayers in the suburbs -- not the city of Chicago -- should pony it up.
"When you have a system that perpetuates inequity we have to challenge that," Duncan said Tuesday at a conference at the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center. "We have to equalize funding."
Duncan, who served as Chicago Public Schools CEO from 2001-09 and then as secretary of the U.S. Department of Education from 2009 until resigning this past January, said the state of Illinois needs to change its “funding formula” to send more money to Chicago and less to suburban and downstate districts.
According to the Illinois State Board of Education, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) spent $15,120 per pupil last school year, more than a majority of DuPage County districts. The average per pupil-spending in DuPage County was $14,160 in 2015-16.
Eighty-five percent of DuPage County school funding comes from local property taxes ($12,105 per pupil), 11 percent from the state ($1,544) and 4 percent from the federal government ($512). Only 49 percent of CPS funding ($7,454) comes from Chicago property taxpayers. 34 percent ($5,171) comes from the state and 16 percent ($2,480) from the federal government.
Duncan also called for more spending on public schools overall.
"The funding here in Illinois for public schools is frankly a travesty. It's some of the lowest funding across the nation,” he said.
But according to the U.S. Census Bureau Annual Survey of School Systems, average per-pupil public school spending in Illinois is $13,077, ranking 14th out of 50 states. Illinois public schools have had the sixth-largest percentage increase in spending since 2010, at 3.5 percent after adjusting for inflation. Only 11 of 50 states have increased public school spending since 2010; 39 have lowered it, including Texas (-9.5 percent) and Wisconsin (-9.3 percent).
Organizations in this Story
421 N County Farm Rd
Wheaton, IL - 60187