Ives argues evidence-based school funding has been proven a failure
An evidence-based school funding model like Senate Bill 1 has won the support of many Democrats and Republicans, but Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) is not among them.
Appearing on an Aug. 7 segment of “Illinois Rising,” Ives maintained the model has fallen flat in Ohio, North Dakota, Arkansas and Wyoming.
“All of them introduced an evidence-based model, which is essentially building your ideal school with your ideal staff and your ideal input, and then saying that that’s going to turn some really great outcome,” Ives said. “In every case, even after billions of dollars were spent and over a decade implementing the formula, you still had national scores – in those states – basically flat.”
One of the problems of the evidence-based model is that it is not actually based on evidence, Ives contended.
“The other thing that it doesn’t do is that it does not require any outcome based on student performance to receive additional funding,” she said. “It’s not really student performance-based. It’s simply input-based, which is always something that is going to feed the beast of bigger government.”
Ives said that many suburban districts, including her own, will be adversely affected by the formula because tax money will be taken away and divied up elsewhere.
“That is going to take about $577 million out of DuPage County,” Ives said. “That money is going down to Springfield and is going to get redistributed via this formula. So we’re going to lose. Property wealth is going to flee out of my district into other districts who do not perform and spend greater than the state average (on students).”
Illinois also does not have the money to fund the funding formula, and in fact it shouldn’t, since it is already spending the highest amount of money per student in the Midwest, Ives maintained. All that money has not translated into better results, she said.
“Make no mistake about why we are doing this and why the Chicago bailout is in there: It’s because Chicago is again in dire straits,” Ives said. “They are $17 billion in debt. Over $9 billion of that is in legacy pension cost, and they want the rest of the state taxpayers to pay for their mismanagement and, quite frankly, their corruption. That’s what this is about.”
Ives said she is not alone in her opposition to SB1 and its evidence-based funding formula.
“The governor has done a decent job in doing what he had to do, since he was blocking such a bad policy choice by at least making an amendatory veto so that schools can open,” she said. “Make no doubt about it: Suburban legislators like myself, we are still standing opposed to this evidence-based model because, long term, it is a terrible idea for funding our schools in the future.”
Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto of SB1 on Aug. 1, but it was overridden by the Senate. The issue was being debated in the House near the end of August.
“Illinois Rising” is hosted by Dan Proft, who is a principal of Local Government Information Services (LGIS), which owns this publication.