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07/29/88 Board of Education of v. Donald B. Gill

July 29, 1988

DISTRICT 205 ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS

v.

DONALD B. GILL, STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT

BOARD OF EDUCATION OF LOCKPORT TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL

533 N.E.2d 380, 176 Ill. App. 3d 567, 127 Ill. Dec. 508 1988.IL.1168

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Will County; the Hon. Herman S. Haase, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE BARRY delivered the opinion of the court. WOMBACHER and HEIPLE, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE BARRY

The Board of Education of Lockport Township High School District 205 and Richland Grade School District 88A brought several different actions seeking a recomputation of the State aid funds apportioned to the school districts based upon a subsequent reduction in the assessed valuations of the taxable property within the school districts. The circuit court of Will County entered summary judgment for the defendants, members of the State Board of Education, in four of those causes, and plaintiffs appeal from those judgments. We have allowed plaintiffs' motion to consolidate those appeals.

Under the Illinois scheme for funding education, school districts submit claims to the Illinois State Board of Education for State aid each year. Under the State aid formula the State guarantees each elementary school district with a tax rate of 1.9% a foundational level of $1,951.94 per student. To the extent the equalized assessed valuation of property in the district is insufficient to generate the foundation level, the State makes up the difference in State aid. The State Board obtains the equalized assessed values from the Department of Revenue, and because of the two-year tax cycle in Illinois, the values used each year are two years old. For example, the 1983 values were the basis for computation of aid in the 1985-86 school year.

The problem giving rise to this litigation is the fact that after the assessed valuations were supplied to the Department of Revenue by the Will County Board of Review, various property owners appealed to the Property Tax Appeal Board and obtained a reduction in their assessed valuations, which in turn reduced substantially the amount of revenue to the plaintiff districts. The amount of State aid lost for the school years in question by each district was as follows:

School Richland Lockport

Years

1978-79 $22,556 $15,088

1979-80 23,914 15,067

1980-81 70,841 ...


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