Uniformity of taxation and Illinois school funding: A state constitutional perspective

Laurie Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Illinois Supreme Court has permitted the General Assembly to create a system of public school funding that is widely disparate and disadvantageous to students in school districts with low-property wealth. In this Article, I argue that the court has not adequately considered the nexus between the Uniformity of Taxation provision and the Education Clause of the Illinois Constitution. My argument rests on two essential points. First, that the Education Clause places on the state a non-delegable duty to provide an efficient system of high-quality education, thus making all taxes levied for funding schools state, and not local, taxes; and, second, that the lack of uniformity that is created by the wide variation in local property tax rates violates the Uniformity of Taxation provision. Thus, it is my view that the Illinois Supreme Court should invalidate the use of local property taxes for the funding of schools and require the legislature to devise a school finance system that is fully funded by the state, detached from local property wealth, and designed to provide an equal educational opportunity to children throughout the state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-195
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Education Finance
Volume34
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Finance
  • Public Administration

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