In the State of Illinois, 65% of all education funding comes via property taxes. The state, meanwhile, contributes a measly 28%. Illinois’ contribution ranks one of the lowest rates in the nation. Yet, Illinois is still $853.5 Million in arrears to school districts around the state.
Property Tax funding of school districts has long been a controversial issue. The biggest argument, against this method of funding, is that poorer communities must pay higher property taxes in order to meet the minimum cost of educating a student than the affluent ones. Each year, the state must establish a funding “foundation level”. From that baseline and depending on property values, communities rely on different tax rates, along with expected state aid to arrive at the minimum cost of educating a student. This year that cost was determined to be $6,119 per pupil.