by Ted Dabrowski, Josh Dwyer, John Klingner
Illinois Policy Institute
October 03, 2013
The focus of Illinois’ current education funding system is not what’s best for students – it’s who controls the flow and distribution of taxpayer money. Nowhere is this more evident than in the state’s General State Aid, or GSA, for education Illinois’ largest single education appropriation for K-12 education. Originally intended to support the state’s neediest school districts, the $4.8 billion GSA has become, in a single decade, a twisted mess of formulas that provide large, special subsidies to a few select districts. Because of changes to GSA formulas, billions of dollars in special subsidies are flowing to Chicago and districts in Cook County and its collar counties.