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Let's face it, Illinois has a broken school funding system — Reeder

11 Agosto 2017
Let's face it, Illinois has a broken school funding system — Reeder

Illinois comptroller Susana Mendoza directed the payment of $429 million in mandated categorical grants to help provide cash flow to schools on the day the state missed General State Aid payments to K-12 schools for the first time in its history.

Luckily, there's some temporary relief for school districts.

As a taxpayer, I want to judge the value of each argument myself, without relying on the media. It was unclear how much the initial fiscal 2018 payment would be because of the lack of a funding formula.

But it fails to identify where the revenue for this increased spending would come from. "This new law is a major step toward reaching that goal".

Having once been a young reporter sent out to do "Man on the Street" interviews, I could empathize with her. Approaching strangers and asking them about legislative or gubernatorial action is hard, particularly when most folks don't know the particulars. Rauner made substantial changes to the plan, which he has complained is a "bailout" for mismanaged Chicago schools. "And to use students and families as a political pawn is unconscionable", he said.

Democratic state Sen. Scott Bennett, who represents Central Illinois, said with Rauner's changes "every one of my schools is in danger of being hurt".

"Our office has been preparing for this contingency", said Mendoza.

Owen said that without an agreement on school funding, the Urbana school district would run out of money next January "unless the board and administration undertake drastic measures".

Manar and other Democrats working to upgrade the 20-year-old formula insisted that no school district receive less under the new plan than it did this past school year. It got 60 votes in the House, 11 short of the three-fifths majority necessary to reverse a veto.

The budget plan included a provision that requires money be distributed to schools only through an "evidence-based" model that funnels money to districts with greater needs - more poverty and fewer English speakers, for example.