Failure is Not an Option
Once again, another study is out grading states on the issue of school funding. Once again, Illinois comes up waaaay short.
A study recently conducted by Quality Counts 2006 published in Education Week magazine gives Illinois schools a C+ overall grade but only a D+ when it comes to school funding. The grade is down from the C“ Illinois was awarded last year. In the study, conducted by Editorial Projects in Education, it lists its reasoning for the lukewarm grade.Regardless of what you think the solution is, I would think that we could all agree that there is a problem. What is troubling to me is that many of the fine folks at ISBE still don't seem to even have a grasp on that basic fact:
"Illinois falls short in resource equity, scoring in the lower tier of states. Its wealth-neutrality score is among the worst in the nation, indicating that per-pupil funding is considerably higher in its wealthier districts than in its poorer districts," the document reads.
Meta Minton, public information officer with the Illinois State Board of Education, said that unfortunately the disparity in property values across the state leads to this gap in funding.Duh. That's why we can't be so reliant on property taxes to fund our schools. As I have repeatedly stated, it is inequitable and immoral for the quality of a child's education to be predicated upon the value of the dirt in the town in which he or she resides.
"You're always going to have that," Minton said.
I can, and have, extensively discussed this issue here and in other forums. I appreciate that there are several passionate and competing thoughts on what needs to be done. Recent discussions about school district consolidations are one valid piece of that puzzle and I hope that we address that issue in the very near future. And without even getting into the amounts of funding, I still maintain that we need to address the manner in which we fund schools. Soon.